Gruening, Ernest Henry

Gruening, Ernest Henry grēnˈĭng [key], 1887–1974, American political leader, governor of Alaska (1939–53), and U.S. Senator (1959–69), b. New York City. He became interested in journalism and worked on Boston newspapers until 1917. From 1920 to 1923 he edited the Nation. He directed (1924) publicity for Robert La Follette's campaign for the presidency, and later founded (1927) the Portland, Maine, Evening News. He edited These United States (2 vol., 1923–24) and also wrote the highly regarded Mexico and Its Heritage (1928). Gruening directed (1934–39) the territories and island possessions division of the U.S. Dept. of the Interior and headed (1935–37) the Puerto Rico Reconstruction Administration. He was appointed governor of Alaska, lobbied for statehood, and became one of Alaska's first U.S. Senators. A Democrat, he was an early opponent of the Vietnam War, voting with Wayne Morse of Oregon against the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in Aug., 1964. He was defeated in the 1968 primary. His works include The State of Alaska (1954) and The Battle for Alaska Statehood (1967).

See his autobiography, Many Battles (1973); S. Ross, Gruening of Alaska (1968).

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