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Joseph Benson Foraker

Foraker, Joseph Benson (fŏrˈəkər) [key], 1846–1917, American politician, b. Highland co., Ohio. After service in the Civil War, he practiced law in Cincinnati and was a judge of the superior court (1879–82), governor of Ohio (1886–90), and U.S. senator (1897–1909). He supported President McKinley's policies. When Mark Hanna died, Foraker became the undisputed Republican boss of Ohio. His second term in the Senate was marked by notable clashes with Theodore Roosevelt. Foraker, in many ways a progressive governor, became an able Old Guard senator. He led the opposition to the Hepburn bill on railroad rebates in 1906 and opposed the direct election of U.S. senators. His political career was ended when, in the election campaign of 1908, William Randolph Hearst revealed that Foraker had accepted from the Standard Oil Company large retainers as well as a loan to purchase the Ohio State Journal. He was defeated for the Republican nomination to the Senate in 1914 by Warren G. Harding. His Notes of a Busy Life (1916) is a primary source for the politics of the period.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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