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Claude A. Swanson

Claude A. Swanson

American politician
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro American politician
Countries United States of America
Occupations Politician Lawyer
Gender male
Birth 31 March 1862 (Swansonville, Virginia)
Death 7 July 1939 (Rapidan Camp)
Education Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, University of Virginia
The details

Claude Augustus Swanson (March 31, 1862 – July 7, 1939) was an American lawyer and Democratic politician from Virginia.
He served seven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, from 1893 until 1906, was the 45th Governor of Virginia from 1906 until 1910, and represented Virginia as a United States Senator from 1910 until 1933. Swanson lived most of his life at his estate Eldon in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, built by the Whittle family for whom Chatham's Whittle Street is named.
He was Secretary of the Navy under Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1933 until his death in 1939, at Herbert Hoover's Rapidan Camp (which was then available for use by the Roosevelt Administration) at age 77.

Electoral history

  • 1892; Swanson was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives with 53.91% of the vote, defeating Populist Benjamin T. Jones.
  • 1894; Swanson was re-elected with 52.34% of the vote, defeating Republican G.W.Cornett, Independent G.W. Hale, and Populist W.T. Shelton.
  • 1896; Swanson was re-elected with 50.98% of the vote, defeating Republican John Robert Brown.
  • 1898; Swanson was re-elected with 57.02% of the vote, defeating Republican Edmund Parr, Populist R.A. Bennett, Independent Republican R.O. Martin, and Independent C.T. Seay
  • 1900; Swanson was re-elected with 58.14% of the vote, defeating Republican John R. Whitehead.
  • 1902; Swanson was re-elected with 60.8% of the vote, defeating Republican Beverly A. Davis and Populist Dan Dickerson.
  • 1904; Swanson was re-elected with 64.98% of the vote, defeating Republican J.B. Stovall.
  • 1905; Swanson was elected Governor of Virginia with 64.51% of the vote, defeating Republican Lunsford L. Lewis and Socialist Labor B.D. Downey.


The Swanson Middle School in Arlington, Virginia is named for him.

The USS Swanson (DD-443) is named for him.

Short-lived Swanson County, Oklahoma, was also named for him, while he was still alive.

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