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Philander Chase Knox

Knox, Philander Chase (fəlănˈdər) [key], 1853–1921, U.S. cabinet member, b. Brownsville, Pa. He built up a fortune as a corporation lawyer in Pittsburgh. He was Attorney General (1901–4) in the cabinets of Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. He was prominently identified with trust prosecutions, but failed to dissolve any significant organizations, except that of the Northern Securities Company, a railroad holding corporation. He served as U.S. Senator by appointment (1904–5) and was elected for the succeeding full term, but resigned in 1909 to become Secretary of State under President Taft. Continuing the policies of his predecessors, John Hay and Elihu Root, Knox sought to protect financial interests abroad, particularly in Latin America and China—a policy that became known as "dollar diplomacy." Knox returned to the Senate in 1917 and allied himself with those who fought ratification of the Treaty of Versailles and participation in the League of Nations.

See S. F. Bemis, ed., The American Secretaries of State, Vol. IX (1929, repr. 1963).

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

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