John W. Davis

Born Apr 13, 1873

John William Davis was an American politician, diplomat and lawyer. He served as a United States Representative from West Virginia (1911–1913), then as Solicitor General of the United States and US Ambassador to the UK under President Woodrow Wilson. Over a 60-year legal career, he argued 140 cases before the US Supreme Court.… Read More

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1873 Birth Born on April 13, 1873.


1892 19 Years Old Davis entered Washington and Lee University at the age of sixteen. He graduated in 1892 with a major in Latin. … Read More


1895 22 Years Old He graduated with a law degree from Washington and Lee University School of Law in 1895 and was elected Law Class Orator. … Read More
1896 23 Years Old Before Davis had completed his first year of private practice, he was asked to come back to Washington & Lee Law School as an assistant professor, starting in the fall of 1896. … Read More


1911 38 Years Old He represented West Virginia in the US House of Representatives from 1911 to 1913, where he was one of the authors of the Clayton Act. … Read More
1912 39 Years Old On January 2, 1912, Davis married Ellen G. Bassel, who died in 1943. … Read More


1913 40 Years Old He served as US Solicitor General from 1913 to 1918 and as ambassador to the United Kingdom from 1918 to 1921. … Read More
1920 47 Years Old Davis was a dark horse candidate for the Democratic nomination for President in both 1920 and 1924.
1921 48 Years Old Davis was a member of the National Advisory Council of the Crusaders, an influential organization that promoted the repeal of prohibition. He was the founding President of the Council on Foreign Relations, formed in 1921, Chairman of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and a trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation from 1922 to 1939.


…  The culmination of his political career came when he ran for President in 1924 under the Democratic Party ticket, losing to Republican incumbent Calvin Coolidge. … Read More
1928 55 Years Old Davis also served as a delegate from New York to the 1928 and 1932 Democratic National Conventions.
1931 58 Years Old …  From 1931 to 1933, Davis also served as president of the New York City Bar Association.


1933 60 Years Old 1 More Event
Davis was implicated by retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler in the Business Plot, an alleged political conspiracy in 1933 to overthrow United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in testimony before the McCormack-Dickstein Committee, whose deliberations began on November 20, 1934 and culminated in the Committee's report to the United States House of Representatives on February 15, 1935.
1949 76 Years Old In 1949, the Republic Steel Company, fearful of advice given to President Truman by Attorney General Tom C. Clark, asked Davis for an opinion letter on whether the President could seize private industry in a "National Emergency." … Read More
While Davis wasn't brought into the case until March 1952, he was already familiar with the concept of a presidential seizure of a steel mill.
1955 82 Years Old Died on March 24, 1955.
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