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Al Smith (King of America)

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Al Smith
AlfredSmith
32nd President of the United States
In office
February 16, 1937 – October 12, 1942
Monarch Henry IV
Vice President Henry A. Wallace
Preceded by Herbert Hoover
Succeeded by Henry A. Wallace
Governor of New York
In office
January 1, 1933 – December 31, 1936
Deputy Jacob Panken
Preceded by TBD
Succeeded by Franklin D. Roosevelt
Mayor of New York City
In office
January 1, 1922 – December 31, 1929
Preceded by John F. Hylan
Succeeded by James Farley
Personal details
Born Alfred Emanuel Smith
December 30, 1873
New York City
Died October 12, 1942 (aged 68)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Socialist
Religion Roman Catholicism

Alfred Emanuel "Al" Smith (December 30, 1873 – October 12, 1942) was the 32nd President of the United States and also served as Governor of New York and Mayor of New York City. Smith, a Socialist, was known for being a staunch leader of the Efficiency Movement and strictly anti-prohibition. He would also become the nation's first Catholic President.

Smith originally sought the 1928 and 1932 Socialist presidential nominee, however was narrowly defeated by Vice President, and later President, Allan L. Benson. Smith successfully secured the nomination in 1936 and overwhelmingly defeated incumbent Herbert Hoover. Under his first term as President, he was able to improve the stagnant economy and improve American infrastructure across the entire nation, however managed to keep the U.S. isolationist during the early stages of the war in Europe. Smith successfully won his second term in 1940.

Due to the threat of Sam Rayburn's Confederacy, President Smith was forced to expand the U.S. armed forces and cut funding to several of his public works. Smith held a stiff ground against the demands and urges of C.S. President Rayburn and British Prime Minister Oswald Mosley, who continuously made territorial demands from the U.S. (such as the new southern portion of Appalachia and the American-occupied Bermuda). However, with war breaking out in Europe, Smith knew that North America would soon see another conflict.

The war, however, began to cause Smith's health to deteriorate, with the president suffering a cerebral hemorrhage and passing on October 12, 1942. Historians generally rate Smith as one of America's greatest presidents alongside his Vice President, and later President, Henry A. Wallace.

Early Life

Political Career

State Legislature

Mayor of New York City

42AlfredESmith

Smith as Mayor of New York City (1922-29)

Smith was elected Mayor of New York City in 1921 and defeated incumbent Democrat John F. Hylan. His election as Mayor signaled the twilight of the Tammany Hall machine.

During his tenure in office, Smith placed an emphasis on public works and expanding the subway system to connect all five boroughs of the city.

Governor of New York (1932–36)

With his success as the Mayor of New York City, Smith tried his hand at becoming the state's governor in 1932 and successfully won.

Election of 1936

Main article: United States presidential election, 1936

Al Smith, riding high on his popularity as Governor of New York, decided to begin his own presidential campaign in 1935 for the next year's election, capitalizing New York's economic stability during his tenure as governor. Smith immediately became the Socialist front-runner, however was plagued by anti-Catholic sentiment from Democrats and Socialists alike.

Smith managed to convince Franklin D. Roosevelt to drop out of the race and run for Governor of New York in exchange for political support in both campaigns.

Presidency

First Term

New Beginning

Second Term

Outbreak of War

Death

The war had taken a significant toll on Smith's health

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