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Charles Curtis
Charles Curtis.jpg
31st Vice President of the United States
In office
March 4, 1929 – March 4, 1933
President Herbert Hoover
Preceded by Charles G. Dawes
Succeeded by John Nance Garner
2nd United States Senate Majority Leader
In office
March 9, 1925 – March 4, 1929
Preceded by Henry Cabot Lodge
Succeeded by James E. Watson
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
In office
December 4, 1911 – December 12, 1911
Preceded by Augustus O. Bacon
Succeeded by Augustus O. Bacon
United States Senator
from Kansas
In office
January 29, 1907 – March 4, 1913
March 4, 1915 – March 4, 1929
Preceded by Alfred W. Benson
Joseph L. Bristow
U.S. Representative
from Kansas
In office
March 4, 1893 – January 28, 1907
Personal details
Born (1860-01-25)January 25, 1860
Topeka, Kansas
Died February 8, 1936(1936-02-08) (aged 76)
Washington, D.C.
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Annie Elizabeth Baird Curtis (died on June 20, 1924)
Children Permelia Jeannette Curtis,
Henry "Harry" King Curtis,
Leona Virginia Curtis

Charles Curtis (January 25, 1860 – February 8, 1936) was an American attorney and politician, elected as the 31st Vice President of the United States (1929–1933) with President Herbert Hoover.

After serving as a United States Representative and being repeatedly re-elected as United States Senator from Kansas, Curtis was chosen as Senate Majority Leader by his Republican colleagues. Born in Kansas Territory to a mother of the Kaw Nation, Curtis was the first person with significant Native American ancestry and the first person with acknowledged non-European ancestry to reach either of the highest offices in the United States government's executive branch. He also was an Executive Branch officer, born in a territory rather than a state.

Curtis ran as the running mate for Herbert Hoover in 1928. They won a landslide victory; winning forty out of the forty-eight states at the time, and 58.2% of the vote. When they ran together seeking re-election in 1932, because Hoover had failed to alleviate the Great Depression, the public elected Democrats Franklin D. Roosevelt and John Nance Garner.

Later years

After the Stock Market Crash in 1929, the problems of the Great Depression led to the defeat of the Republican ticket in the next election. Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected as president by a margin of 57% to 40% in 1932. Curtis' term as Vice President ended on March 4, 1933, and he was succeeded by John Nance Garner.

After politics

Charles Curtis bust
Charles Curtis' vice-presidential bust

Curtis decided to stay in Washington, D.C., to resume his legal career, as he had a wide network of professional contacts from his long career in public service.

He died there on February 8, 1936 from a heart attack. By his wishes, his body was returned to his beloved Kansas and buried next to his wife at the Topeka Cemetery.

Legacy and honors

Calvin Coolidge, Mrs. Coolidge and Senator Curtis
President Calvin Coolidge, First Lady Grace Coolidge, and Senator Curtis on their way to the Capitol building on Inauguration Day, March 4, 1925.
  • He was featured on the cover of Time magazine, December 20, 1926 and June 18, 1928, while serving as US Senator from Kansas. Full-length articles discussed his life and politics.
  • He was featured as Vice President on the cover of Time, December 5, 1932.
  • His house in Topeka, Kansas has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated as a state historic site. The Charles Curtis House Museum is now operated as a house museum.
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