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Woodrow Wilson

U.S. President / World War I Figure

Born: 28 December 1856
Died: 3 February 1924 (Natural causes)
Birthplace: Staunton, Virginia
Best known as:

The U.S. president during World War I

Woodrow Wilson was the president who led the United States through World War I. After a respectable career as a scholar, Wilson became the president of Princeton College in 1902. He entered politics in 1910 when he was persuaded to run for governor of New Jersey. After only two years as governor, he beat out Teddy Roosevelt and William H. Taft in the presidential election of 1912. The White House was efficiently run by his activist wife, Ellen Axson Wilson, and the president married off two daughters in the first 14 months. Mrs. Wilson died shortly afterward, in August of 1914, and the president remarried in December of 1915. Politically, Wilson first championed isolationism in foreign affairs, but he became a strong advocate for U.S. involvement in World War I. When the war ended in 1918, he pushed for the U.S. to join the League of Nations, precursor to the United Nations. His plans were confounded by Congress, which wouldn't approve of American membership, but Wilson still won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1919. The same year he suffered a stroke which left him partly paralyzed; he was assisted in his duties by his second First Lady, Edith Galt Wilson. Wilson finished his second term and was succeeded by Warren G. Harding in 1921.

Extra credit:

Often thought of as an egghead, Woodrow Wilson was also a winning football coach at Wesleyan University for two seasons (1888-89)... He was the 28th president... Wilson is the only U.S. president buried in Washington, D.C.

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