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Woodrow Wilson

U.S. President / World War I Figure

Born: 28 December 1856
Died: 3 February 1924 (Natural causes)
Birthplace: Staunton, Virginia
Best known as: The U.S. president during World War I
Woodrow Wilson is the president who led the United States through World War I. After a respectable career as a scholar, Woodrow Wilson became the president of Princeton College in 1902. He entered politics in 1910 when he was persuaded to run for governor of New Jersey -- and won. After only two years as governor, he beat out Teddy Roosevelt and William H. Taft in the presidential election of 1912. Politically, Woodrow Wilson first championed isolationism in foreign affairs, but once World War I broke out he became a strong advocate for U.S. involvement. The Americans joined the war in 1917, and when the war ended the next year, Wilson pushed for the U.S. to join the League of Nations, precursor to the United Nations. His plans were confounded by Congress, which wouldn't approve of American membership, but Wilson still won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1919. Early in Woodrow Wilson's first term, the White House was efficiently run by his activist wife, Ellen Axson Wilson, and the president married off two daughters in the first 14 months. Mrs. Wilson died shortly afterward, in August of 1914, and the president remarried to Edith Galt Wilson in December of 1915. In 1919, the penultimate year of his second term, he suffered a stroke which left him partly paralyzed. Thereafter he was assisted in his duties by the First Lady; as Wilson's health declined, some accused her of running the country in his name. Woodrow Wilson did finish out his second term and was succeeded by Warren G. Harding in 1921.
Extra credit:

Often thought of as an egghead, Woodrow Wilson was also a winning football coach at Wesleyan University for two seasons (1888-89)… Woodrow Wilson was the 28th president… Woodrow Wilson is the only U.S. president laid to rest in Washington, D.C.; his crypt is in the Washington National Cathedral.

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