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Harry H. Woodring (1936–1940) - Secretary of War

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Harry Hines Woodring was born May 31, 1887, in Elk City, Kansas, and was educated at the Lebanon (Indiana) Business University. He began his career as a janitor at the First National Bank of Neodesha, Kansas, of which he eventually became vice president and then owner. During World War I, Woodring enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army and later served as a first lieutenant in the Tank Corps. He served one term as governor of Kansas (1931-1933) before becoming assistant secretary of war (1933-1936) under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Woodring became acting secretary after the death of Secretary of War George Dern in 1936 and was not officially nominated to the post until April 1937. He was asked to resign in 1940 after disagreeing publicly with the administration's policy of shipping war materials to Britain. Woodring died on September 9, 1967, in Topeka, Kansas.

Citation Information

Consulting Editor

William E. Leuchtenburg

Professor Leuchtenburg is the William Rand Kenan Jr. Professor Emeritus of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His writings include:

The White House Looks South: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson (Louisiana State University Press, 2005)

The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy (Columbia University Press, 1995)

The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-32 (University of Chicago Press, 1993)

Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, 1932–1940 (Harper Collins, 1963)