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George A. Wilson: Wikis


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George Allison Wilson (April 1, 1884 - September 8, 1953) was a United States Senator and 28th Governor of Iowa.


Personal background

Born on a farm near Menlo, Iowa, Wilson attended rural schools, and Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa. He graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law at Iowa City in 1907, and was admitted to the bar the same year. He then commenced practice in Des Moines. He was assistant county attorney of Polk County, Iowa from 1912 to 1914 and the Polk County Attorney from 1915 to 1916. He was a district judge from 1917 to 1921 and was a member of the Iowa Senate from 1925 to 1935.

Iowa Governor and U.S. Senator

In 1936, Iowa's Governor, Democrat Clyde Herring, ran for the U.S. Senate instead of running for re-election. Wilson won the Republican nomination to succeed him as governor, but was defeated by Democrat Nelson G. Kraschel in the general election by fewer than 3,000 votes out of over one million cast.[1]

In 1938, Wilson again ran against Kraschel, with the opposite result. Wilson received 52.7 percent of the vote.[1] Wilson was then re-elected as Governor in 1940, winning again by 52.7 percent in the general election over Democrat John Valentine after overcoming a surprisingly strong challenge in the Republican primary from future Congressman H.R. Gross.[2]

Instead of running for a third term in 1942, Wilson decided to challenge Senator Herring, and defeated him. He served in the Senate from January 14, 1943, to January 3, 1949. His Senate committees included the Committee on Small Business and the Armed Services Committee.[3]

In 1948, former U.S. Senator Guy M. Gillette, unseated in his own bid for re-election in 1944, ran against Wilson in the general election. Wilson was expected to win.[4] However, in a year in which President Harry S. Truman and many other Democrats surprised pundits, Gillette defeated Wilson by over 150,000 votes.[5]

After the Senate

After leaving the Senate in early 1949, Wilson returned to the practice of law.

Wilson died in Des Moines in 1953, and was interred in Glendale Cemetery.


  1. ^ a b Iowa Gubernatorial Elections, 1846-2006, at 5.
  2. ^ "Gross Back in Political Race," Iowa City Press-Citizen, 1948-04-02 at 4.
  3. ^ Advertisement, Mt. Pleasant News, 1948-11-01 at 5.
  4. ^ "Dewey Secure; Wilson Faces a Close Race," Council Bluffs Nonpareil, 1948-11-01 at 1, 4.
  5. ^ "Guy Gillette Easy Winner Over Wilson," Council Bluffs Nonpareil, 1948-11-04 at 1.
Political offices
Preceded by
Nelson G. Kraschel
Governor of Iowa
1939 –1943
Succeeded by
Bourke B. Hickenlooper
United States Senate
Preceded by
Clyde L. Herring
United States Senator (Class 2) from Iowa
Served alongside: Guy Mark Gillette,Bourke B. Hickenlooper
Succeeded by
Guy Mark Gillette


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