George W. Perkins

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George W. Perkins (1862-1920) was one of the most successful organizers and modernizers of the Progressive Era in the United States. Starting as an office boy he became a leading executive in insurance, steel and banking, always on the alert for new and better ways to do business. He was a top aide to financier J. P. Morgan, and handled complex issues involving U.S. Steel, International Harvester, and other large corporations and insurance companies. He dropped his business connections when Theodore Roosevelt selected him as chairman and chief operating officer of the Progressive Party, but his ties to big business alarmed the radical wing of the party. He was instrumental in dropping the anti-trust plank from the Progressive platform. After 1913 he focused on New York City politics, while continuing as Progressive National Chairman. In 1916 he campaigned for Charles Evans Hughes and the GOP.

Perkins with the checkbook battling radical progressive Amos Pinchot, 1912 Kirby cartoon in Democratic newspaper, the New York World ridicules the religious rhetoric and crude violence of the Progressive party

Bibliography

  • John Garraty, Right-Hand Man; The Life of George W. Perkins (1960) online edition
  • Mowry, George E. Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Movement. (1946) focus on 1912

References

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