Mar. 24, 1902 Owosso Shiawassee County Michigan, USA
Mar. 16, 1971 Miami Miami-Dade County Florida, USA
New York Governor. As a Presidential Candidate. he was immortalized in the incorrect, often seen newspaper headline in a St. Louis newspaper displayed by presidential winner Harry Truman, “Dewey Defeats Truman.” While serving New York in various legal capacities (1933 to 1941) including special assistant to United States attorney, United States attorney, special prosecutor, and district attorney, as special prosecutor he gained national attention by obtaining 72 of 73 convictions of long time racketeers. These included convictions of criminals in the then well know criminal syndicate, Murder Incorporated. Elected Governor of New York in 1942, 1946 and 1950, he was known for his legal knowledge, political moderation, and efficient, business like administration. Among his achievements was the first state law anywhere forbidding racial and religious discrimination in employment. Nominated twice for President of the United States in 1944 and 1948 on the Republican ticket, he was widely anticipated to win by pollsters and the general populous in 1948 but was defeated by Harry S Truman. Since he and his advisors thought he had an insurmountable lead in the anticipated vote, he waged a noncommittal campaign purposely designed to avoid offending any part of the electorate while Truman attacked the “do-nothing” Republican 80th congress and by inference, Dewey himself. Thomas Dewey is quoted as saying “When you’re leading, don’t talk.” Contributing to his loss may have been his moustache, which was out of style in the late 1940’s and may have reminded people of Hitler. After his last term as governor, he returned to a lucrative private law practice. He remained a close advisor of the Republican administrations but turned down an offer to be chief justice of the United States Supreme Court under President Richard Nixon in 1968. He authored two books - "Journey to the Far Pacific" (1952) and "Thomas E. Dewey on the Two Party System" (1966). Throughout his political career, he established himself as efficient, honest and hardworking although not a magnetic leader.