Borah, William Edgar, 1865-1940

Alternative names
Birth 1865-06-29
Death 1940-01-19

Biographical notes:

Lawyer and U.S. senator from Idaho.

From the description of William Edgar Borah papers, 1905-1940 (bulk 1912-1940). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70979901

U.S. senator from Idaho.

From the description of Letter, 1929 Oct. 12, Washington D.C., to Perry Walton, Boston. (Boston Athenaeum). WorldCat record id: 184904148

Attorney in Boise, Idaho; United States senator from Idaho, 1907-1940.

From the description of Correspondence, 1902-1932. (Idaho State Historical Society Library & Archives). WorldCat record id: 42926864

United States senator from Idaho, 1907-1940.

From the description of Papers, 1899-1940. (University of Idaho Library). WorldCat record id: 42927489

U.S. senator from Idaho and lawyer.

From the description of Scrapbooks of William Edgar Borah, 1904-1940. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71068359

Biographical Note

  • 1865, June 29: Born, Jasper Township, near Fairfield, Ill.
  • 1885 - 1887 : Attended University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kans.
  • 1887: Admitted to the Kansas bar
  • 1890: Settled in Boise, Idaho; practiced law
  • 1895: Married Mary McConnell
  • 1896: Ran for the House of Representatives on the Silver-Republican ticket
  • 1903: Ran for the United States Senate
  • 1907: Elected to the United States Senate from Idaho Prosecutor in the trial of William Dudley (“Big Bill”) Haywood, socialist labor leader charged with murder
  • 1919 - 1920 : Opposed entry of the United States into the League of Nations
  • 1923: Introduced first of several Senate resolutions to outlaw war
  • 1924: Succeeded Henry Cabot Lodge as chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
  • 1928 - 1929 : Led fight in Senate for Kellogg-Briand peace pact
  • 1936: Candidate, Republican Party nomination for president
  • 1940: Died, Washington, D.C.

From the guide to the William Edgar Borah Papers, 1905-1940, (bulk 1912-1940), (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)

William Edgar Borah, Republican Senator from Idaho, was born in Fairfield, Illinois, June 29, 1865, the seventh of ten children born to William Nathan and Elizabeth (West) Borah. He was educated in the public schools near Fairfield and at Enfield College. He spent two years, 1885-1887, at the University of Kansas, but had to withdraw because of illness. He then studied law in the office of his brother-in-law and was admitted to the Kansas bar in 1890.

In 1891 he moved west and settled in Boise, Idaho, where he opened a law office. On April 21, 1895, he married Mary McConnell the daughter of Governor William J. McConnell.

He first became a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 1903, but was defeated by Weldon Heyburn. He was elected in 1907 and served in that body until his death in 1940. In 1924 he became chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee; he also served on the Judiciary Committee. He was often mentioned as a presidential candidate, but not until 1936 did he actually enter any primaries; his defeat at the convention by Alf Landon was not unexpected.

William E. Borah died January 19, 1940, following a stroke.

From the guide to the Scrapbooks, 1903-1947, (University of Idaho Library Special Collections and Archives)


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