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John W. Bricker

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Title: John W. Bricker  
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Subject: United States presidential election, 1944, Frank Lausche, Republican Party presidential primaries, 1944, Bricker Amendment, Republican Party presidential primaries, 1956
Collection: 1893 Births, 1986 Deaths, American Anti-Communists, American Military Chaplains, Burials at Green Lawn Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio, Governors of Ohio, Ohio Attorneys General, Ohio Republicans, Ohio State Buckeyes Baseball Players, Ohio State University Trustees, Old Right (United States), People from Columbus, Ohio, People from Madison County, Ohio, Republican Party (United States) Vice Presidential Nominees, Republican Party State Governors of the United States, Republican Party United States Senators, United States Army Chaplains, United States Army Officers, United States Presidential Candidates, 1944, United States Senators from Ohio, United States Vice-Presidential Candidates, 1944, World War I Chaplains
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John W. Bricker

John W. Bricker
United States Senator
from Ohio
In office
January 3, 1947 – January 3, 1959
Preceded by Kingsley A. Taft
Succeeded by Stephen M. Young
54th Governor of Ohio
In office
January 9, 1939 – January 8, 1945
Lieutenant Paul M. Herbert
Preceded by Martin L. Davey
Succeeded by Frank J. Lausche
Personal details
Born John William Bricker
September 6, 1893
Mount Sterling
Madison County
Ohio, USA
Died March 22, 1986(1986-03-22) (aged 92)
Columbus, Ohio, USA
Resting place Green Lawn Cemetery
Columbus, Ohio
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Harriet Day Bricker
Children Harriet Day Bricker
Residence Columbus, Ohio
Alma mater Ohio State University
Profession Lawyer
Religion Congregationalist
Military service
Service/branch United States Army

John William Bricker (September 6, 1893 – March 22, 1986) was a United States Senator and the 54th Governor of Ohio. A member of the Republican Party, he was the Republican nominee for Vice President in 1944.


  • Early life 1
  • Public service 2
  • Professional life 3
  • Miscellaneous 4
  • See also 5
  • Notes 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Bricker was born on a farm near Mount Sterling in Madison County in south central Ohio. He was the son of Laura (née King) and Lemuel Spencer Bricker.[1] He attended Ohio State University at Columbus, where he divided his time between the debating team, the varsity baseball team,[2] and the Delta Chi Fraternity. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from Ohio State in 1916 and from its law department in 1920, he was admitted to the bar in 1917 and began his legal practice in Columbus in 1920.[3]

He was married to the former Harriet Day.

Public service

During World War I, Bricker served as first lieutenant and chaplain in the United States Army in 1917 and 1918. He was subsequently the solicitor for Grandview Heights, Ohio, from 1920 to 1928, assistant Attorney General of Ohio from 1923 to 1927, a member of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio from 1929 to 1932, and Attorney General of Ohio from 1933 to 1937.

He was elected governor for three two-year terms, serving from 1939 to 1945, having each time won with a greater margin of victory.[2] Bricker espoused a stance against centralized government, preferring to increase involvement in state and local governments, and made this known in his inaugural address as Governor:

Bricker was the Communist Party of the United States of America political party.[5]

In 1946, Bricker was elected to the United States Senate. He was re-elected in 1952, serving from January 3, 1947, to January 3, 1959.

Governor Dewey was the Republican presidential nominee again in 1948, but Senator Bricker was not his running mate. Dewey chose instead Governor Earl Warren of California in the hope that the 1948 ticket would carry California, which the Dewey-Bricker ticket had failed to do. The Dewey-Warren ticket also lost California, and the absence of Bricker on the second ticket may have been a factor in Dewey's failure to win Bricker's home state of Ohio again. Bricker had campaigned with Warren in 1944 in Sacramento, where Bricker attacked the politics of war-time rationing; then in San Francisco Bricker charged that Roosevelt had packed the U.S. judiciary with liberal jurists hostile to the Constitution.[5] However, even if Dewey had carried both California and Ohio in 1948, the two large states would have been insufficient to make him President in that second campaign.

Bricker's Senate service is best remembered for his attempts to amend the United States Constitution to limit the President's treaty-making powers (the Bricker Amendment). He was the chairman of the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce during the 83rd Congress.

On July 12, 1947, a former Capitol police officer fired shots at Senator Bricker as he boarded the underground trolley from the Senate office building to the Capitol. The two shots, fired as close range, narrowly missed the target.

In 1958, Stephen M. Young ran for the Senate against the incumbent Bricker. Bricker seemed invincible, but Young capitalized on widespread public opposition to the proposed "right to work" amendment to Ohio's constitution, which Bricker had endorsed. Few thought that Young, 70 at the time, could win; even members of his own party had doubts, particularly Ohio's other senator, Democrat Frank J. Lausche. In an upset amid a national Democratic trend, Young defeated Bricker by 52 to 48 percent. Bricker then retired from public life.

Professional life

In 1945, Bricker founded the Columbus law firm now known as Bricker & Eckler. The firm now has additional offices in Cleveland and West Chester, Ohio. The West Chester office serves the cities of Cincinnati and Dayton. "Bricker" is now one of the ten largest firms in the state of Ohio.

After leaving the Senate, John Bricker resumed the practice of law. He died in Columbus on March 22, 1986 at the age of ninety-two and is interred there at Green Lawn Cemetery.


  • Bricker Hall on the Ohio State University campus is named for him. The building currently serves as the home of many of the university administrative units, including the Office of the Board of Trustees and President Dr. Michael V. Drake. Bricker was a member of the OSU Board of Trustees from 1948 to 1969.[6]
  • The Bricker Building at the Ohio Expo Center (site of the annual Ohio State Fair and many other events) is named for him.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c Ohio Fundamental Documents: John Bricker
  3. ^ accessed 5-29-10
  4. ^ David M. Jordan, FDR, Dewey, and the Election of 1944 (Blomington: Indiana University Press, 2011), pp. 294, 296-297, ISBN 978-0-253-35683-3
  5. ^ a b David Jordan, p. 295
  6. ^

External links

  • John Bricker Oral History finding aid, Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library
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