William Brockman Bankhead

Photo From Find a Grave
 Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives

Born:April 12, 1874, Lamar County, AL
Died:September 15, 1940, Washington, DC
Buried:Oak Hill Cemetery, Jasper, AL
Father of:Tallulah Bankhead


•  William Brockman Bankhead: A biography by Walter Judson Heacock (out of print)

•  Son of John Hollis Bankhead, US Senator from Alabama Son of Tallulah J. Brockman Bankhead Brother of John Hollis Bankhead, Jr., US Senator from Alabama Brother of Mrs. Marie B. Owen - Alabama Biography

•  "He received his early education in the public schools at Wetumpka, and Fayette, being taught by Miss Susie Doby and Prof. M. B. Dubose; entered the University of Alabama, 1889, at fifteen years of age and graduated, A. B., June, 1893; captain, Co. C, Cadet corps, and winner of the trustees' oratorical prize." - Alabama Biography

•  "He was admitted to the bar at Fayette, September, 1895, and entered upon the practice at Huntsville, in the office of Judge William Richardson, M. C. In 1905. He removed to Jasper to practice with his brother, John H. Bankhead, Jr. He was city attorney of Huntsville, 1900-01; circuit solicitor fourteenth circuit, 1900-14; elected to the 65th and 66th congresses from the tenth district, and is a member of the education and merchant marine committees of that body; had charge of the legislation giving vocational training to disabled soldiers of the World War, and was author of the act to rehabilitate industrial cripples passed by the 66th congress. He is a Democrat, chairman of the Walker County committee, delegate to several state conventions, presidential elector, 1904." - Alabama Biography

•  "Married: (1) January 31, 1900, in Memphis, Tenn., to Adelaide Eugene, daughter of J. Thomas and Evelyn Eugenia (Garth) Sledge, the former a native of Mississippi, the latter of North Alabama; (2) January 16, 1915, to Florence, daughter of Joseph H. and Saleta J. (Anderson) McGuire, of Jasper. Children: by the first wife, 1. Evelyn Eugenia, m. Morton Hoyt. 2. Tallulah Brockman, an actress, appearing first upon the screen at sixteen years of age, and later going on the legitimate stage where she played the leading female role in '39 East,' and won success in 'Foot-loose,' both Broadway successes." - Alabama Biography

•  He was a Methodist; a Mason; Odd Fellow; Woodman of the World; Knight of Pythias and a member of the Phi Delta Theta college fraternity. - Alabama Biography

•  "He at once entered the law department of Georgetown university, at Washington, D. C, from which he graduated in 1895, being president of the class, an honor borne likewise by his brother, John H. Bankhead, Jr., upon graduating from the same institution, these young men being the first Southerners so honored after the War of Secession." - Alabama Biography

•  "BANKHEAD, William Brockman (Apr. 12, 1874-Sept. 15, 1940) With his brother, he gained national recognition and respect for his political acumen. He was born in Moscow, Lamar County, of a political family, and graduated from the University of Alabama in 1893. His brother, John Hollis Bankhead, Jr., was a senator from Alabama in the United States Congress from 1930 until his death in 1946. In 1895 William began the practice of law in Huntsville. After a sojourn in New York City, where his parents talked him out of becoming an actor, he entered public life. In 1900-1901 he served in the Alabama legislature. In 1905 he moved to Jasper. In 1916 he was elected to the United States Congress where he continued to serve until his death in 1940. In 1933 he became chairman of the House Rules Committee; in 1934 he was elected House Majority Leader and Speaker of the House in 1936. In 1940 he was chosen to make the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention because he gave strong support to Franklin D. Roosevelt and was regarded as a New Dealer. He was fatally stricken in Baltimore, Maryland, while there to address a party rally, dying at the naval hospital at Bethesda. He is buried in Jasper." - Alabama Past Leaders

Related Links:

•  Alabama Archives - Papers

•  Alabama Biography - History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, Volume 3, by Thomas McAdory Owen, Marie Bankhead Owen, © 1921, p.93.

•  Alabama Past Leaders - By Henry S. and Marsha Kass Marks, © 1982.

•  Biographical Directory of US Congress. - Bio

•  Dissertation - page 41 says Bankhead recorded his opposition to an anti-lynching bill proposed in1937.

•  Encyclopedia of Alabama - Bio

•  Find a Grave - Photo

•  Flickr - Photos

•  Google Images - Photos

•  Time Magazine: Article - A Time article referencing William Bankhead as Speaker of the US House and his style of leadership. (Originally found at http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,801963,00.html.)

•  Time Magazine: Cover - Cover (Originally found at http://www.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,19371129,00.html.)

•  Wikipedia - Bio

The Following Pages Link to this Page:
•  Alabama Biography
•  Tallulah Bankhead