Josephus Daniels

Daniels, Josephus, 1862–1948, American statesman, newspaper editor, and author, b. Washington, N.C. He became editor of the Raleigh State Chronicle in 1885 (he was admitted to the bar the same year) and in 1894 consolidated three newspapers into the Raleigh News and Observer. He was in charge of the Democratic publicity bureau in the presidential campaigns of 1908 and 1912. Throughout both of Wilson's administrations, including the period of World War I, he was Secretary of the Navy. He was much criticized for pacifistic tendencies and administrative inefficiency before the U.S. entry into the war, but his record in 1917–18 quieted these charges. After leaving office, he continued to be a force in both state and national politics. When he was ambassador to Mexico (1933–41), Daniels was influential in improving U.S. relations with Mexico. His books include Life of Woodrow Wilson (1924, repr. 1971), and The Wilson Era (2 vol., 1944–46). Tar Heel Editor (1939), Editor in Politics (1941), and Shirt Sleeve Diplomat (1947) are autobiographical.

See Roosevelt and Daniels (ed. by C. Kilpatrick, 1952); biography by J. L. Morrison (1966).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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