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Reed Smoot

Smoot, Reed (smōt) [key], 1862–1941, U.S. senator (1903–33), b. Salt Lake City, Utah. He became successful as a banker and was prominent in the affairs of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints. He was the first Mormon to be elected (1902) to the U.S. Senate. Efforts were made to bar him from his seat because he was a Mormon, but he was seated after a Senate investigation. Smoot, a conservative Republican, joined the "irreconcilables" in opposing the League of Nations and was one of the group that worked for Warren G. Harding's nomination (1920). In his later years in the Senate he was chairman of the finance committee; he helped write the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act (1930), which he cosponsored with Oregon Representative Willis C. Hawley.

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

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See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. History: Biographies


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