Arthur Vandenberg

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Arthur H. Vandenberg, Sr.
Arthur H Vandenberg.jpg
Former U.S. Senator from Michigan
From: March 31, 1928 – April 18, 1951
Predecessor Woodbridge Nathan Ferris
Successor Blair Moody
Party Republican
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Watson (died 1916)
Hazel Harper Whitaker

Arthur Hendrick Vandenberg, Sr. (March 22, 1884 – April 18, 1951) was a Republican from Michigan who served as the state's U.S. senator from the late 1920s up until his death in 1951. He was a member of the Conservative Coalition and initially an isolationist, though sided with internationalist Democrats on foreign policy once the U.S. became involved in World War II.[1]

U.S. Senate

Following the death of incumbent Democrat senator Woodrooge Nathan Ferris in 1928, Vandenberg was appointed by Gov. Fred W. Green to the Senate seat. He won election to a full Senate term that year[2] and would be re-elected three times.[3]

Vandenberg initially supported some New Deal programs but would become increasingly opposed to them later on,[4] emerging as a sharp critic of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Along with Democrat Sen. Josiah Bailey of North Carolina, Vandenberg helped author the Conservative Manifesto in opposition to much of the New Deal.[5] Other contributors to the document included senators Millard Tydings of Maryland, Harry F. Byrd of Virginia, Royal Copeland of New York, Edward Burke of Nebraska, and Warren Austin of Vermont.

Vandenberg helped lead the bipartisan majority of Republicans and some Democrats in defeating Roosevelt's 1937 vain power-grab attempt to pack the court,[6] known as the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill. The majority of Americans at the time also opposed the president's scheme.[7]

He died in office at the age of 67 in April 1951.[8] His busyness with congressional duties reportedly prevented him from being able to seek timely treatment for cancer.


  1. Nordlinger, Jay (December 6, 2017). Politics Then, Politics Now. National Review. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  2. MI US Senate. Our Campaigns. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  3. Vandenberg, Arthur H.. Our Campaigns. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  4. Nordlinger, Jay (December 7, 2017). A Senator’s Journey. National Review. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  5. The Other Senate Manifesto. Fascinating Politics. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  6. Debates on the Federal Judiciary: A Documentary History. Federal Judiciary Center. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  7. Zelizer, Julian E. (October 15, 2018). Packing the Supreme Court Is a Terrible Idea. The New York Times. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  8. Arthur Vandenberg Dies. United States Senate. Retrieved May 18, 2021.

External links

  • Profile at United States Senate
  • Biography at Britannica
  • Profile at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  • Profile at The Vandenberg Coalition