Judah Philip Benjamin (August 6, 1811 - May 6, 1885) was the 4th President of the Confederate States of America. To date he is the only Jewish Confederate to serve as President.
Before the War of Secession, Benjamin was only the second Jewish United States Senator. After Louisiana seceded from the Union, however, he gave up that post and was eventually named Confederate States Attorney General (1861). In September 1861 he was assigned to the position of Secretary of War and as a reward for his loyalty following the Roanoke Island incident, he was appointed Secretary of State, where he is often times considered the man most responsible for persuading France and the United Kingdom to intervene on the side of the Confederacy.
As President, Benjamin is probably best remembered by the Mexican-Confederate War that lasted through much of his tenure as President. Despite losing some gains won during the last year of the Lee administration and the first year of his own administration, the signing of the Second Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is often considered to be largely a success.
After the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed, Benjamin did his best, considering the cost of another war, to continue the social and economic reforms begun under President Lee; however, on May 6, 1885, with just less than one year of his term remaining, President Benjamin died, making him the first Confederate President to die while in office. Vice President Longstreet was sworn in the same day.