John W. Bricker

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John William Bricker

In office
January 3, 1947 – January 3, 1959
Preceded by Kingsley A. Taft
Succeeded by Stephen M. Young

In office
January 9, 1939 – January 8, 1945
Preceded by Marrtin L. Davey
Succeeded by Frank Lausche

In office
January 9, 1933 – January 11, 1937
Preceded by Gilbert Bettman
Succeeded by Herbert S. Duffy

Born September 6, 1893
Mount Sterling
Madison County
Died March 22, 1986 (aged 92)
Columbus, Ohio
Resting place Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Harriet Day Bricker (1897–1985)
Children Harriet E. Bricker (1921–1922)
Alma mater Ohio State University
Occupation Attorney

United States Army in World War I

Religion Congregationalist

Military Service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1917–1918
Rank First Lieutenant
Battles/wars World War I

John William Bricker (September 6, 1893 – March 22, 1986) was a conservative Republican politician in his native Ohio. Bricker was the attorney general of his state from 1933 to 1937 and the governor for three two-year terms from 1939 to 1945 and thereafter a U.S. Senator from 1947 to 1959, when he was unseated[1] by the liberal Democrat Stephen Marvin Young (1889–1984) in a campaign in which Bricker endorsed a proposed right-to-work law for Ohio.

Political career

In 1944, Bricker was his party's vice-presidential nominee on the ticket headed by Governor Thomas Dewey of New York. The ticket did win Bricker's Ohio but lost Dewey's New York to Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1948, Dewey again ran for president against Harry Truman, with the liberal Governor Earl Warren for vice president. That time Dewey won New York state but lost Warren's native California. In neither election was Dewey a strong candidate in terms of electoral votes.

Governor of Ohio

Bricker lost the 1936 Ohio gubernatorial election,[2] though re-bounded in the 1938 midterms[3] and won re-election two times by larger margins.[4][5] His tenure was marked by fiscal restraint, particularly working with conservative House Speaker William Moore McCulloch to balance budgets and replace a state deficit with a surplus, even as the state suffered from the Great Depression.[6][7]

U.S. Senate

On July 12, 1947, a Capitol Police officer attempted without success to assassinate Senator Bricker.[8][9]

In the 1950s, Senator Bricker pushed unsuccessfully for passage of his Bricker Amendment, which had it become part of the United States Constitution would have exempted U.S. laws, treaties, and executive agreements from the dictate of the United Nations.[10]

Bricker voted for the Senate passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957.[11]

Death and legacy

Bricker died in March 1986; then-governor Richard F. Celester stated:[12]

I join with all Ohioans in mourning the death of John W. Bricker. Ohioans will long remember his leadership as Governor and United States Senator in the 1940's and the 1950's.

The John W. Bricker Federal Building in downtown Columbus, Ohio is named in his honor.[13]


  1. OH US Senate Race - Nov 04, 1958. Our Campaigns. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  2. OH Governor Race - Nov 03, 1936. Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
  3. OH Governor Race - Nov 08, 1938. Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
  4. OH Governor Race - Nov 05, 1940. Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
  5. OH Governor Race - Nov 03, 1942. Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
  6. McCulloch, William M.. SNAC. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
  7. FascinatingPolitics (January 8, 2020). William McCulloch: The Civil Rights Engine of Congress. Mad Politics: The Bizarre, Fascinating, and Unknown of American Political History. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
  8. Attacks on Congress not new: Disgruntled policeman shot at Ohio senator at Capitol in 1947.
  9. Kelly, Ryan (June 14, 2017). A Long History of Attacks on Members of Congress. Roll Call. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  10. John W. Bricker. Britannica. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  11. HR. 6127. CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1957.. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  12. AP (March 23, 1986). JOHN BRICKER, OHIO REPUBLICAN; LONGTIME GOVERNOR AND SENATOR. The New York Times. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  13. John W. Bricker Federal Building. U.S. General Services Administration. Retrieved June 22, 2021.

External links

  • Profile at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  • Profile at National Governors Association
  • Profile at Ohio History Central
  • Profile at Find a Grave