Wagner, Robert F.
- Paula Eldot
Wagner, Robert F. (08 June 1877–04 May 1953), U.S. senator, was born in Nastätten, Germany, the son of Reinhard Wagner, a dyer, and Magdalene Schmidt, a teacher; his middle name was Ferdinand. The family came to the United States in 1886; but after a decade of hardship in New York City his parents returned to the Old World, while Robert, through education, grasped the opportunities that had eluded them in the New. He worked his way through City College of New York, from which he graduated in 1898. Two years later he earned a degree from New York Law School. The partnership he then forged with Jeremiah T. Mahoney prospered, as the two friends successfully combined legal practice with Democratic politics. During Wagner’s undergraduate years, he converted from Lutheranism to Methodism and in 1946 to Catholicism, the religion of Margaret Marie McTague, whom he had married in 1908. Widowed in 1919, he raised their only child, ...