Alben W. Barkley Biography, Life, Interesting Facts


Alben W. Barkley

Birthday :

November 24, 1877

Died On :

April 30, 1956

Also Known For :

Vice President

Birth Place :

Lowes, Kentucky, United States of America

Zodiac Sign :


Childhood And Early Life

US Democrat politician Alben W Barkley was born on the 24 November 1877 in Graves County, Kentucky. He was the eldest son of John Wilson and Electa Eliza Smith, and he had seven siblings. His parents were tobacco farmers



Alben W Barkley graduated from Marvin College, a Methodist school in Clinton, Kentucky in 1897 with a BA degree. Afterwards, he studied at Emory College, Oxford, Georgia and the University of Virginia Law School, Charlottesville, Virginia. 


Rise To Fame

Alben W Barkley was admitted to the bar in 1901 and initially practiced law in Paducah, McCracken County Kentucky. He was the prosecuting attorney for McCracken County from 1905 until 1909 and a county court judge from 1909 until 1913.


Political Career

Alben W Barkley was elected as a Democrat to the 63rd Congress and served in the next six Congresses covering the period 4 March 1913 until the 3 March 1927. He did not seek renomination in 1926 instead of choosing to stand as a US Senator. He was elected to the US Senate in 1926 and reelected in 1932, 1938 and 1944. He, therefore, served as a US Senator from the 4 March 1927 through to the 19th January 1949 when he resigned.

For the period 1937-1947 Barkley was majority leader as well as the Democratic caucus chairman. For the period 1947-1949, he was the minority leader and Democratic caucus chairman.

In 1948 Alben W Barkley was elected Vice President of the United States on a Democratic ticket with President Harry S Truman. He was inaugurated on the 20 January 1949 and was reelected to the US Senate serving from the 3 January 1955 until his death on the 30 April 1956.


Personal Life

Alben W Barkey’s first wife was Dorothy Brower (b.1882-d.1947). They were married on the 23 June 1903 and had three children together David (b.1906-d.1983), Marion Frances (b.1909-d.1996) and Laura Louise (b.1911-d.1987). Barkley’s first wife died in 1947 and on the 18 November 1949 he remarried. His second wife was Jane Rucker Hadley, a widow who was thirty-three years his junior.

His grandson gave him the nickname was Veep, a play on his title of Vice-President, which stuck when the media picked it up and used it.



Alben W Barkley was raised in a Presbyterian family, and his father was a church elder but converted to the Methodist faith during his college years.

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