Biography

Woodrow Wilson
Middle Name: Woodrow (first name, Thomas)
Birth Date: 28 Dec. 1856
Death Date: 3 Feb. 1924

Thomas Woodrow Wilson, 28th president of the United States, was born 28 December 1856, in Staunton, Virginia. Tommy Wilson, as he was called, was barely a year old when his family moved to Augusta, Georgia. He would live there until his early teens when the Wilson family moved to Columbia, South Carolina. Wilson briefly attended Davidson College and later transferred to Princeton University, graduating with the class of 1879. He attended the University of Virginia Law School and later received a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. Now going by his middle name Woodrow, Wilson began his teaching career at Bryn Mawr College. He married Ellen Axson in June 1885, and the couple had three daughters. In 1888, Wilson joined the faculty of Wesleyan University and, in 1890, was invited to return to Princeton as professor of jurisprudence and political economy. He went on to become president of Princeton University in 1902 and then Governor of New Jersey for one term in 1910. Wilson was elected president of the United States in 1912 and reelected in 1916. After Ellen died in 1914, he married Edith Bolling Galt, a widow, in December 1915. As president, Wilson was responsible for many social and economic reforms including the passage of the Federal Reserve Act, the Child Labor Reform Act, and legislation that supported unions to ensure fair treatment of working Americans. The 19th Amendment was ratified during his second term, guaranteeing all women the right to vote. Wilson is best remembered for his leadership during World War I, and his attempt to establish the League of Nations. At the Paris Peace Conference, Wilson proposed “Fourteen Points” as the basis for the peace treaty. The final Treaty of Versailles included many of Wilson’s ideas, but the Treaty was voted down by Congress, and the United States never joined the League of Nations. While touring the country in 1919 to boost public support for the League, Wilson fell ill from exhaustion and suffered a stroke from which he never fully recovered. After leaving office in 1921, Wilson and his wife moved to a private residence in northwest Washington, D.C. He died there at the age of 67 on 3 February 1924, and is buried in the Washington National Cathedral. 

Note: Lloyd E. Ambrosius. “Wilson, Woodrow”; http://www.anb.org/articles/06/06-00726.html; American National Biography Online Feb. 2000. Accessed 6 Feb. 2006.

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Wilson was president throughout World War I. He attempted to keep America out of the war and even won reelection with the slogan "He kept us out of war." Nonetheless, after the sinking of the Lusitania, continued run-ins with German submarines, and the release of the Zimmerman Telegram, America became involved. with the Lusitania, the continued harassment of American ships by German submarines, and the release of the Zimmerman Telegram meant that America joined the allies in April, 1917.

Woodrow Wilson was President when the 19th amendment was ratified in 1920 giving women the right to vote.

Wilson piloted the ship that brought America onto the world stage. He made the first steps of leading us out of isolationism, violating Washington's tenet of avoiding foreign entanglements.

He led America during World War I. His fervent hope was for the US to join a League of Nations, the precursor to the United Nations.

A Woodrow Wilson Quote: "Life does not consist in thinking, it consists in acting."

A Woodrow Wilson Quote: "The Constitution was not made to fit us like a straitjacket. In its elasticity lies its chief greatness."

A Woodrow Wilson Quote: "I believe in democracy because it releases the energies of every human being."

The Seventeenth Amendment was formally adopted on May 31, 1913. Wilson had been president for almost three months at the time. The amendment provided for the direct election of senators. Prior to its adoption, Senators were chosen by state legislatures.

Wilson was the first president to receive a PhD which he got in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University. He had received his undergraduate degree from the College of New Jersey, renamed Princeton University in 1896.

Woodrow Wilson could not read during the first decade of his life. Though undiagnosed, he may have suffered from a learning disability

Woodrow Wilson was known as "Tommy" until his college years.

Woodrow Wilson during his boyhood, helped establish the "Lightfoot Baseball Club" with his friends. Wilson played second base and was an avid sport fan throughout his adult life.

Woodrow Wilson was the first president to attend the Major League Baseball Fall Classic. He saw the debut of a young 20 year old pitcher by the name of George Herman "Babe" Ruth.

Woodrow Wilson was a graduate of Princeton University and Johns Hopkins University and the only president to hold an earned doctoral degree.

Woodrow Wilson image is on the $100,000 bill although it is no longer in circulation