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Anderson, Charles William (28 April 1866–28 January 1938), politician and public official, was born in Oxford, Ohio, the son of Charles W. Anderson and Serena (maiden name unknown). After a public school education in his hometown and in Middletown, Ohio, he studied at Spencerian Business College in Cleveland and the Berlitz School of Languages in Worcester, Massachusetts. His schooling continued informally, as Anderson matured into an intellectually accomplished and engaging man. His friend ...

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Connor, Bull (11 July 1897–10 March 1973), city commissioner and symbol of southern resistance to race reform, was born Theophilus Eugene Connor in Selma, Alabama, the son of Hugh King (or King Edward) Connor, a railroad dispatcher, and Molly Godwin. He spent his childhood years in several cities but each summer lived with relatives in Plantersville, Alabama, where he met Beara Levens, whom he married in 1920. They had one daughter. After attending school in Birmingham and Selma, Connor found employment with Western Union as a telegraph operator. He moved to New Orleans, then Memphis, and later Dallas, where in 1921 a chance to announce a telegraph-reported baseball game altered his life forever. Sportscasting suited Connor, whose ungrammatical expressions and folksy chatter caught the public’s fancy. In 1922 he opened a baseball matinee in Birmingham where people paid to hear him read “live” telegraph reports and thus call the games of the local team. An instant hit, Connor’s booming style landed him a job selling radios as the “Voice of the Birmingham Barons” and earned him the nickname “Bull.”...

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Croker, Richard (23 November 1843–29 April 1922), New York City political leader, was born in County Cork, Ireland, the son of Eyre Coote Croker, a blacksmith and veterinarian. Little is known of his mother, except that her maiden name was Wellstead. In 1846 the Crokers immigrated to the United States and, after a short sojourn in Cincinnati, settled in New York City. Richard attended public school intermittently until he was thirteen years old, when he began an apprenticeship as a machinist for the Harlem Railroad. Young Croker’s prowess with his fists won the admiration of neighborhood street gang members, and he became leader of the Fourth Avenue Tunnel Gang....

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Walter E. Edge Seated, left, at a session of the Senate's Committee on Elections, 1921. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-104398).

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Edge, Walter Evans (20 November 1873–29 October 1956), New Jersey businessman and political leader, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of William Edge, a railroad manager, and Mary Elizabeth Evans. In 1877 his family moved to Pleasantville, New Jersey, and in 1887 he took a job as a printer’s devil for the ...

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Edward Everett. After a painting from Alonzo Chappel. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-107689).

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Everett, Edward (11 April 1794–15 January 1865), statesman and orator, was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, the son of Oliver Everett, a clergyman and judge who died when Edward was eight years old, and Lucy Hill, a woman of inherited means. Everett attended Harvard College, graduating in 1811 with highest honors at what was (even for then) a young age. He took an M.A. in divinity in 1814 and was installed that year as minister to the Unitarian Brattle Street Church, then the most distinguished pulpit in Boston....

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John Purroy Mitchel Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-101372).

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Mitchel, John Purroy (19 July 1879–06 July 1918), reformer and mayor of New York City, was born at Fordham (now Bronx), New York, the son of James Mitchel, a New York City fire marshal, and Mary Purroy, a schoolteacher until her marriage. After graduating from Columbia College (1899) and New York Law School (with honors in 1902), Mitchel practiced law as a private attorney. In 1909 he married Alice Olivia Child; they had no children....

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Penrose, Boies (01 November 1860–31 December 1921), political leader and U.S. senator, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Richard Alexander Fullerton Penrose, a prominent physician, and Sarah Hannah Boies. The eldest of seven sons from a distinguished family, Boies Penrose grew up in the privileged world of patrician Philadelphia. In 1877 he entered Harvard along with his younger brother Charles Bingham Penrose. They both graduated in 1881, Boies finishing second in his class, just behind Charles, with a degree in political economy....

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Roberts, Oran Milo (09 July 1815–19 May 1898), secessionist, governor of Texas, and jurist, was born in Laurens District, South Carolina, the son of Oba Roberts and Margaret Ewing, slaveowning farmers. At the age of three, Roberts moved with his family to St. Clair County, Alabama. He graduated from the University of Alabama in 1836 and was admitted to the bar in 1837. The same year he married Frances Edwards; six of their seven children survived infancy. The young lawyer initially practiced in Talledega, then in Ashville, Alabama. Partial to the doctrines of ...