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Harold Edward Stassen

Stassen, Harold Edward (stăsˈən) [key], 1907–2001, American public official and university president, b. West St. Paul, Minn. A Republican lawyer, he held his first public office at the age of 23. At 31 he was elected (1938) governor of Minnesota and was twice (1940, 1942) reelected. In World War II, Stassen resigned (1943) as governor to enter the navy. He was later a delegate (1945) to the San Francisco Conference called to create the United Nations. From 1949 to 1953, Stassen was president of the Univ. of Pennsylvania. During the Eisenhower administration he served as Mutual Security Administrator (1953), director of the Foreign Operations Administration (1953–55), and special presidential adviser on disarmament (1955–58). A respected moderate and internationalist, Stassen was probably best known as a perenniallly unsuccessful candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, having sought it a total of nine times (1948, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1976, and 1988).

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

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