- Garner, John Nance
- (1868-1967)30th vice president of the United States. John Nance Garner was born in a log cabin in Texas and after limited schooling he briefly attended Vanderbilt University, studied law, and qualified for the bar in 1890. Garner practiced law in Uvalde, Texas, where he became county judge from 1893 to 1896. He was elected as a Democrat to the state house of representatives in 1898 and to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1903. Garner served until 1933. He was not a conspicuous legislator. It was eight years before he made his first speech, but he gained power by virtue of seniority. Garner eventually became Speaker of the House from 1931 until 1933, when he was elected vice president to Franklin D. Roosevelt. His experience gave him a crucial role as liaison with Congress, and the Texas connection gave him influence with a number of key figures, and he was reelected in 1936. He has been described as the “most powerful vice president in history.” Initially a supporter of the New Deal, Garner was increasingly unhappy with the social welfare and prolabor aspects of Roosevelt’s program. He became openly hostile when Roosevelt attempted to alter the composition of the Supreme Court in 1937 and stood against FDR for the nomination in 1940. When he was unsuccessful, Garner left politics and retired to his ranch in Uvalde.
Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . Neil A. Wynn . 2015.