I would rather be a servant in the House of the Lord than to sit in the seats of the mighty.
Alben W. Barkley QuotesShowing all quotes
|Birth:||24th November, 1877|
|Death:||30th April, 1956|
Barkley was born Willie Alben Barkley in a log cabin near Lowes, Graves County, Kentucky. He graduated from Marvin College in 1897, where he excelled in speech and debate. He worked his way through college with a full-time janitorial job. Barkley later attended Emory College, in Oxford, Georgia. He was a member of Delta Tau Delta social fraternity, graduated in 1900, and then attended the University of Virginia School of Law. It was during this time that he legally changed his name from "Willie Alben" to "Alben William."
Barkley was admitted to the Kentucky bar in 1901 and commenced practice in Paducah, Kentucky. He was the prosecuting attorney for McCracken County from 1905 to 1909 and judge of McCracken County Court from 1909 to 1913. He built a reputation as a progressive who sided with the farmers more than the townspeople. His energetic, folksy campaigning and strong oratorical skills made him a power in the local Democratic party. He defeated three opponents in the 1912 congressional primary, won the Congressional election, and became a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Barkley was elected to the Sixty-third and to the six succeeding Congresses (1913–1927) representing Kentucky's 1st district in the U.S. House of Representatives. As a member of the House Barkley helped foster the Prohibition Amendment and the Volstead Act. He gained statewide stature by leading a crusade against the coal and gambling special interests during his 1923 campaign for Governor of Kentucky. Barkley narrowly lost the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. However, that sole electoral defeat actually helped propel him into the U.S. Senate in 1926.
He served in the Senate from 1955 until his death the following year of a heart attack while giving a speech at the 1956 Mock Convention held at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.
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