, 1860-1921, American political leader, b. Philadelphia. A lawyer, he was (1884-97) a member of the Pennsylvania legislature and coauthored a scholarly work, The City Government of Philadelphia
(1887). His talent for political organization was soon employed for the state Republican party machine; he became the henchman of Matthew S. Quay
, the state boss. He was elected (1896) to the U.S. Senate, and after Quay's death (1904) Penrose became the Republican leader of Pennsylvania. He served until his death in 1921 in the Senate and there dominated the finance committee; he consistently supported a high protective tariff. He played a leading role in Republican national politics and, after the retirement of Nelson W. Aldrich, became Republican leader of the Senate, where his service was not notable.
See biography by R. D. Bowden (1937, repr. 1971).
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