Kansas Governor. He was the 1936 Republican Party candidate for United States President, losing to Franklin D. Roosevelt. Born in West Middlesex, Pennsylvania, in 1908, he graduated from the University of Kansas with a law degree, and decided to remain in Kansas, working in a bank. In 1912, he and three partners started a business to develop oil wells, then a new burgeoning business, and Landon quickly became a leader in the petroleum industry. In 1917, when the United States entered World War I, he joined the United States Army and was promoted to Lieutenant, serving a total of 19 months and was discharged in 1919. His interest in politics started in 1912, and he worked locally to support former United States President Theodore Roosevelt's Bull Moose Campaign. In 1928, he served as chairman of the Republican State Central Committee, becoming more active in politics, and served two terms as the Governor of Kansas (1932 to 1936). His ability to balance the state budget helped bring him into national prominence, and brought him the Republican nomination for United States President in 1936, an election he lost to incumbent President Franklin D. Roosevelt. After losing to Roosevelt, he continued to remain active in national politics, attending many Republican Presidential Conventions, and in 1938, he represented the United States at the Pan-American conference in Peru. His daughter, Nancy Landon Kassebaum, was elected to the United States Senate from Kansas in 1978. He died at age 100 from complications from gallstone surgery and bronchitis. Later in his life he was referred to as "The Grand Old Man of the Grand Old Party."
Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson