Davis, John William

Davis, John William

Davis, John William, 1873-1955, American lawyer and public official, b. Clarksburg, W.Va. Admitted (1895) to the bar, he taught (1896-97) at Washington and Lee Univ. and later practiced (1897-1913) in Clarksburg. He served as Congressman (1911-13), U.S. Solicitor General (1913-18), and ambassador to Great Britain (1918-21). After 1921 he practiced law in New York City. He was nominated for President in 1924 on the 103d ballot, when, after a two-week deadlock at the Democratic convention, the forces of Alfred E. Smith and William Gibbs McAdoo agreed to compromise on a third candidate. Hampered by his legal affiliation with large corporations, Davis, even though he carried the South, won only 136 electoral votes and 8,386,500 popular votes. His speeches are collected in Treaty-making Power in the United States (1920) and Party Government in the United States (1929).

See biography by W. H. Harbaugh (1973).

John William Davis (September 12, 1916 - October 3, 1992) was an American politician and lawyer.

Early life and education

Davis was born near Rome, Georgia, attended the University of Georgia (UGA) in Athens and graduated in 1937 with an A.B. and from the UGA School of Law with a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) in 1939. He was admitted to the state bar in 1939 and began practice in Rome.



Beginning in July 1942, Davis served in the United States War Department Headquarters until December 1945. He then served in South America on behalf of the Counter Intelligence Corps. In 1946, Davis moved to Summerville, Georgia, and resumed practicing law.

Political career

On December 27, 1950, Davis became solicitor general of the Rome Circuit and remained in that position until January 1, 1953. Two years later, he was elected judge of the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit, serving from January 1, 1955, until his resignation on December 31, 1960.

Time in Congress

In 1960, Davis won election to the 87th Congress as a Democrat representing Georgia's 7th congressional district. He won re-election to six additional terms in that body until losing his re-election campaign in 1974. He served as a U.S. Representative from January 3, 1961 to January 3, 1975.

Later career and death

Davis returned to practicing law and lived in St. Simons Island, Georgia, at the time of his death on October 3, 1992.


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