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Brown, Walter Folger (31 May 1869–26 January 1961), lawyer, politician, and government official, was born in Massillon, Ohio, the son of James Marshall Brown, a lawyer, and Lavinia Folger. Reared in comfortable circumstances, Brown graduated from Western Reserve Academy in 1888 and Harvard University in 1892, worked briefly for the ...

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Calhoun, John (14 October 1806–13 October 1859), politician and territorial officeholder, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Andrew Calhoun, a successful merchant, and Martha Chamberlain. He spent his youth on a farm in Montgomery County, New York, to which his family had moved following his father’s retirement. After completing his studies at Canajoharie Academy, Calhoun turned to the study of law. Restless and looking for opportunity, he left home and family in 1830 and settled in Springfield, Illinois, where he continued his law study and taught school. He married Sarah Cutter the following year; they had nine children, seven of whom grew to adulthood....

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Lawrence, David Leo (18 June 1889–21 November 1966), political boss and government official, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Charles B. Lawrence, an unskilled laborer, and Catherine Conwell. Lawrence’s early political universe was confined to the Gaelic Irish community located at the juncture of Pittsburgh’s three rivers. His maternal grandfather and his father were both involved in ward-level politics and young David’s first job at age nine was to run errands for First Ward alderman Steve Toole. Young Lawrence’s association with these three men introduced him to Democratic pro-labor politics in a town dominated by Republican manufacturing interests. Political survival for Democrats in Pittsburgh required cooperation, if not collaboration, with the Republican interests....

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Maverick, Maury (23 October 1895–07 June 1954), politician and government administrator, was born Fontaine Maury Maverick in San Antonio, Texas, the son of Albert Maverick, a real estate investor, and Jane Lewis Maury. His grandfather, Sam Maverick, a rancher, was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence in 1835 and mayor of San Antonio. When he refused to brand his cattle—contrary to prevailing custom—“maverick” became embedded in the English language as a term designating a stray. Maury Maverick lived within this tradition....

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Nash, Philleo (25 October 1909–12 October 1987), educator, federal administrator, and lieutenant governor of Wisconsin, was born in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, the son of Guy Nash, a cranberry grower, and Florence Philleo. He attended elementary and high schools in Wisconsin Rapids, followed by a brief period of study at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. In the fall of 1927 Nash enrolled in ...

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Sargent Shriver. Tempera, pencil and ink on board, 1963, by Boris Chaliapin. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine.

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Shriver, Sargent (09 November 1915–18 January 2011), federal official and vice presidential candidate, was born Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr., in Westminster, Maryland, to Robert Sargent Shriver, Sr., a banker, and Hilda Shriver. His parents were second cousins. On her mother’s side, Hilda Shriver was descended from one of the founding Catholic families of Maryland; for his part, her husband converted to Catholicism upon their marriage. The couple went on to establish several Catholic organizations, and they were among the founders of ...

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Caspar Willard Weinberger. Charcoal on board, 1975, by Everett Raymond Kinstler. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Everett Raymond Kinstler.

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Weinberger, Caspar Willard (18 August 1917–28 March 2006), politician, government official, and businessman, was born in San Francisco, California, the son of Cerise Carpenter Hampson and Herman Weinberger, a lawyer. His father was of Bohemian Jewish descent and his mother, whose roots were English, was Episcopalian; he embraced his mother’s religion. After graduating from San Francisco’s Polytechnic High School, where he was student body president, Weinberger attended Harvard University. There he edited the student newspaper, the ...