Henry A. Wallace Biography

(33rd Vice President of the U.S.A.)

Birthday: October 7, 1888 (Libra)

Born In: Orient

Henry A. Wallace was an American politician and an agrarian expert who served as the 33rd U.S. Vice President, from 1941 to 1945, in the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. An author and editor, Wallace went on to work in the hybrid-corn business before becoming agricultural secretary and later served as Vice President during Roosevelt's third term. Born in Iowa, after finishing college, Wallace took over his father's position as the editor of family publication. Later, he joined the Democratic Party and was appointed the Secretary of Agriculture by Roosevelt. As head of the Agriculture Department, Wallace gained national attention for effectively organizing the administration of the Agricultural Adjustment Agency and was subsequently chosen by Roosevelt as his running mate in the elections of 1940. Over the next four years, Wallace distinguished himself as a loyal and hard-working wartime vice-president but still failed to recapture the nomination in 1944 and was discarded by an increasingly conservative Democratic party. Then, he was appointedSecretary of Commerce but was dismissed from his post after he publicly criticized President Truman's foreign policy. Thereafter, he returned to editing and used his publication as a platform to promote progressive politics, thereby founding the Progressive Party. Subsequently, he ran as the presidential candidate from the newly formed party but failed in his attempt and shortly after, Wallace retired from politics. Wallace continued to write about politics and agriculture through his retirement and until his death
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Henry Wallace, Henry Agard Wallace

Died At Age: 77


Spouse/Ex-: Ilo Wallace

father: Henry Cantwell Wallace

Quotes By Henry A. Wallace Political Leaders

political ideology: Political party - Democratic (1933–1946), Progressive (1946–1948)

Died on: November 18, 1965

place of death: Danbury

Ideology: Democrats

U.S. State: Iowa

Founder/Co-Founder: DuPont Pioneer, Progressive Party

More Facts

education: Iowa State University

Childhood & Early Life
Henry Agard Wallace was born on October 7, 1888, in, Iowa, U.S., to Henry Cantwell Wallace, a farmer, newspaper editor, and author who later became the Secretary of Agriculture, and his wife, May Brodhead, a deeply religious woman, trained in music and art.
In 1910, Wallace completed his graduation from Iowa State College with a degree in animal husbandry. Thereafter, he began working for Wallaces’ Farmer, a family-owned paper founded by his father and grandfather.
From 1910 to 1924, Wallace worked on the editorial staff of the publication in Des Moines. Subsequently, he became the chief editor of the magazine, a position in which he served until 1929.
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Henry A. Wallace’s family constantly supported the Republican Party but Wallace was subsequently disappointed with the party over its farm policies and highly protectionist tariff policies. As a result, he parted ways with the party in 1928.
Later, Wallace joined the Democratic Party, and played a crucial role in the Democrats victory in conservative state of Iowa in the 1932 elections. The victory in Iowa was significant because Democratic Party went to 1932 elections and with a radical New Deal program to tackle the Great Depression and Iowa was considered to be a conservative state.
Upon noticing his contribution in Democratic Party’s success and his expertise in agriculture, Wallace was selected for the post of Secretary of Agriculture during Roosevelt’s first two terms. From 1933 to 1940, Wallace served as the United States Secretary of Agriculture in President Roosevelt’s administration.
In 1940, when Roosevelt decide to run for a third presidential term, he chose Wallace as his running mate.Subsequently, Wallace was elected and became the 33rd vice president of the United States in the Democratic administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt, serving until 1945.
As Vice President of the United States, Wallace became the President’s goodwill diplomat to Latin America, traveling to Siberia and China. When the United States entered World War II, Wallace managed several additional emergency duties, particularly in national economic affairs.
In 1944, Wallace received opposition from several conservative Democrats over his re-nomination for vice presidency and was subsequently replaced on the ticket by Senator Harry S. Truman.
In March 1945, Roosevelt appointed Wallace the Secretary of Commerce, where he served until he was dismissed n September 1946. Wallace’ rising public discontent with President Truman government’s firm Cold War policy toward the Soviet Union led to his release from the cabinet.
In 1946, he became the editor of the liberal weekly magazine called ‘The New Republic’, where he remained for a year.He used his publication as a platform to oppose Truman's foreign policies and advance his progressive policies.
Subsequently, he established the Progressive Party and ran as party’s presidential candidate in the 1948 elections but was unsuccessful. Wallace suffered a decisive defeat against Truman and later broke with the party, thus retiring from political life.

Wallace was also a prolific writer and published works on politics as well as agriculture throughout his retirement. Some of his works include ‘America Must Choose’ (1934), ‘The Century of the Common Man’ (1943), ‘Sixty Million Jobs’ (1945), and ‘The Long Look Ahead’ (1960).
Major Works
Wallace was an agrarian expert and his experiments with higher-yielding corn strains gave rise to major advances in plant genetics and subsequently, he industrialized it into a highly profitable hybrid-corn business.
As Secretary of Agriculture, he formulated and administered New Deal legislation, particularly the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933. It was designed to advance and stabilize farm prices, conserve soil, stock reserves, and regulate production, and Wallace was successful in shaping the government’s farm policy.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1914, Wallace married Ilo Browne, and the couple had three children together. In 1926, Wallace founded the highly successful Hi-Bred Corn Company with financial help from his wife.
Wallace suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in his last years and died on November 18, 1965, in Danbury, Connecticut. His body was cremated at Grace Cemetery in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and the ashes were buried in Glendale Cemetery, Des Moines, Iowa.

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