Edge, Walter E. (Walter Evans), 1873-1956

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Self made advertising millionaire; Governor of New Jersey, U. S. Senator, Ambassador to France.

From the description of Walter Evans Edge letter to Curtis P. Brady [manuscript], 1924. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 174964733

Walter Evans Edge (1873-1956) was a notable New Jersey businessman and politician. He was elected to serve New Jersey as Governor (1917-1919, 1944-1947) and as a United States Senator (1919-1929). Edge was born in Philadelphia on November 20, 1873 but moved at a young age to New Jersey. Edge's parents passed away shortly thereafter and he was forced to find gainful employment at age 17. His first job at a printing office in Atlantic City involved working as a "printer's devil;" from there, he moved onto advertising, with Dorland Advertising Agency in Atlantic City. The firm started small but grew quickly while promoting local resorts and attractions. Edge rapidly rose through the ranks, ultimately gaining control of the agency and expanding it internationally. Having gained financial independence, Edge moved into politics; his first political position was journal clerk of the New Jersey State Senate. Edge quickly moved up the ranks of the Republican Party and in 1901, was appointed Secretary of the State Senate. He served as a delegate from New Jersey at the 1908 Republican National Convention.

Edge first held office in 1909, when he was elected to the lower house of the New Jersey State Legislature. He was elected to State Senate in 1910, eventually becoming majority leader in 1912 and president in 1915. Edge was elected to his first term as Governor of New Jersey in 1916. Edge completed his quick ascent up the ranks of the Republican Party when he was elected to represent New Jersey as U. S. Senator in 1918. While in office, Edge supported the repeal of prohibition, the creation of the Port Authority of New York and the building of the Holland Tunnel; he also championed increased international trade and supported various Republican nominees for President, including Warren Harding and Herbert Hoover.

Edge resigned from the Senate in 1929 after Hebert Hoover appointed him Ambassador to France. He resigned from the ambassadorship in 1933 and spent the remained of the 1930s enjoying a temporary retirement. He traveled to Europe and purchased Sunny Hill Plantation, a hunting retreat in Georgia. Though retired, Edge remained active in Republican Party affairs, including campaigning for Wendell Willkie in 1940. Edge was ultimately motivated to return to public office after the onset or World War II. He again ran for Governor of New Jersey and was elected in 1943. Among Edge's accomplishments during his second term were revisions to the State constitution. Edge retired for the second time in 1947 after the completion of his second term. He was an active Republican for the remainder of his life, and was one of the first politicians to support Dwight Eisenhower’s presidential campaign.

Edge married Lady Lee Phillips in 1907. They had one child, Walter, Jr., together before Mrs. Edge passed away in 1915. Edge remarried, wedding Camilla Sewall in 1922. They had two daughters and a son together. Edge died on October 29, 1956.

From the guide to the Walter E. Edge Papers, 1782-1968, 1905-1956, (Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Morrow, Dwight W. (Dwight Whitney), 1873-1931. Morrow papers, series I : Business Affairs and Public Activities Files, 1900-1931. Amherst College Library
referencedIn Pitney, John O. H. (John Oliver Halsted), 1860-1928. Papers, 1901-1927. Rutgers University
referencedIn Frederick Hale Papers, 1917-1940 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General. 1774 - 1985. Photographic Albums Relating to the Pilgrimages of Gold Star Mothers and Widows
referencedIn Root, Elihu, 1845-1937. Papers of Elihu Root, 1863-1937 (bulk 1899-1937). Library of Congress
referencedIn Federal Writers' Project. Women's archives, 1890-1953. New Jersey Historical Society Library
referencedIn Bradley, Joseph P., 1813-1892. Papers, 1836-1937. New Jersey Historical Society Library
creatorOf Edge, Walter E. (Walter Evans), 1873-1956. Walter E. Edge papers, 1920-1968 (bulk 1930-1956) Princeton University Library
referencedIn Rutgers College. Office of the President. Records of the William H. S. Demarest Administration, 1890-1928. Rutgers University
referencedIn Jenkinson, Richard C., 1853-1930. Scrapbook, 1861-1922. New Jersey Historical Society Library
referencedIn Marriner, J. Theodore, 1892-1937. Papers, 1918-1937. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Viola Price Franklin letter collection, 1849-1941 Willamette University University Archives and Special Collections
referencedIn Correspondence and compositions collected by The Carl H. Pforzheimer Library, 1878-1923. Theodore Roosevelt Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
creatorOf Walter E. Edge Papers, 1782-1968, 1905-1956 Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections.Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. Public Policy Papers.
referencedIn Elihu Root Papers, 1863-1937, (bulk 1899-1937) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Morrow, Dwight W. (Dwight Whitney), 1873-1931. Morrow papers, series II-IX, 1887-1931. Amherst College Library
creatorOf Edge, Walter E. (Walter Evans), 1873-1956. Walter Evans Edge letter to Curtis P. Brady [manuscript], 1924. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Princeton (N.J.). Deed conveying Morven from Helen Hamilton Stockton, et al. to Walter E. Edge, governor of New Jersey, acting for the state of New Jersey. New Jersey State Library
referencedIn Inventory to the Records of the Rutgers College Office of the President (William H.S. Demarest), 1890-1928 Rutgers University Libraries. Special Collections and University Archives.
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
correspondedWith Bradley, Joseph P., 1813-1892. person
associatedWith Brady, Curtis P., person
associatedWith Edge, Camilla Sewall, 1902-1984 person
associatedWith Edge, Camilla Sewell. person
associatedWith Edge family. family
associatedWith Federal Writers' Project. corporateBody
associatedWith Franklin, Viola Price person
associatedWith Hale, Frederick, 1874-1963 person
associatedWith Harding, Warren G. (Warren Gamaliel), 1865-1923 person
associatedWith Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964 person
correspondedWith Jenkinson, Richard C., 1853-1930. person
associatedWith Marriner, J. Theodore, 1892-1937. person
associatedWith Morrow, Dwight W. (Dwight Whitney), 1873-1931. person
associatedWith Morven (Princeton, N.J.) corporateBody
associatedWith Pitney, John O. H. (John Oliver Halsted), 1860-1928. person
associatedWith Princeton (N.J.) corporateBody
associatedWith Republican Party (N.J.) corporateBody
associatedWith Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919 person
associatedWith Root, Elihu, 1845-1937. person
associatedWith Rutgers College. Office of the President. corporateBody
associatedWith Rutgers College. Office of the President (William Henry Steele Demarest) corporateBody
associatedWith Teagle, Walter C. (Walter Clark), 1878-1962 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
New Jersey
New Jersey--Princeton
United States
New Jersey
American politics and government
American history/20th century
Morven (Princeton, N.J. : Estate)
Historians--New Jersey--Princeton--20th century--Correspondence
Governors--20th century
Historic buildings
New Jerseyana


Birth 1873-11-20

Death 1956-10-29




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