Alf Landon

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(2) Theo Cobb[1] (survived Alf, died in 1996)[3]

Alfred "Alf" Mossman Landon (September 9, 1887 – October 12, 1987) was an American Republican politician, who served as the 26th Governor of Kansas from 1933–1937. He was best known for being the Republican Party's (GOP) nominee for President of the United States, defeated in a landslide by Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1936 presidential election.


Early life

Born in 1887 in West Middlesex, Pennsylvania, Landon grew up in Marietta, Ohio.[4] He moved with his family to Kansas at age 17 and graduated from the University of Kansas in 1908. He first pursued a career in banking, but in 1912 he became an independent petroleum producer in Independence, Kansas. During World War I, Landon served in the Army as a first lieutenant in chemical warfare. By 1929 the oil industry had made him a millionaire.

Political career

Landon supported Theodore Roosevelt's Progressive Party in 1912, and, in 1922, was private secretary to the governor of Kansas. He later became known as the leader of the liberal Republicans in the state. He was elected chairman of the Republican state central committee in 1928 and directed the Republican successful presidential and gubernatorial campaigns in Kansas in that year.

Landon was elected Governor of Kansas in 1932. He was re-elected governor in 1934 – the only Republican governor in the nation to be re-elected that year. He served as governor from 1933 until 1937. As Governor, Landon gained a reputation for reducing taxes and balancing the budget. Landon is often described as a fiscal conservative who nevertheless believed that government must also address social issues. He supported parts of the New Deal but opposed labor unions.

While governor, Landon attempted to address the needs of his Depression-battered state while still advancing the Republican Party. After his speech at the Cleveland convention in 1936, Landon stated, “my chief concern in this crisis... is to see the Republican Party name its strongest possible candidate and a man that would be a good president.”[5] During the election year, Landon called for a “special session of the Legislature to enact measures to bring Kansas within the requirements of the Federal social security program.”[5]

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