Charles W. Fairbanks

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Charles Warren Fairbanks was an American politician who served from 1905 to 1909 as the nation’s 26th Vice President. In addition, he served as senator from Indiana from 1897 to 1904 Although he held important positions during his lifetime, Fairbanks stayed in the political shadow of William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt for the majority of his life. His administrative abilities and conservative viewpoints made him a powerful senator and influential politician, but they did not propel him to the presidency. During the early years of his career, Fairbanks began as a lawyer but quickly realized that politics was his true calling. He joined the Republican Party and steadily rose to the top of the political scene during the McKinley administration. However, the tragic death of McKinley and the subsequent nomination of Roosevelt dashed Fairbanks’ hopes of gaining the highest office in the nation. As a result, he compromised the Vice President position. His political career sank during Roosevelt’s presidency due to irreconcilable conflicts between the two men. In 1916, Fairbanks once again failed to get the nomination for president, but he does win the nomination for vice president. The Republican Party’s loss in the 1916 elections led to his permanent retirement from public life. The last days of Fairbanks’ life were spent practicing law.

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Youth and Early Life

Charles Warren Fairbanks was born in Ohio on 11 May 1852 to parents Loriston Fairbanks and Mary Adelaide Smith. His father was a wagon builder, and his mother was an advocate.

Early in life, young Fairbanks attended country schools and worked on a farm. He attended Ohio Wesleyan University after excelling academically at Ohio Wesleyan University. He received his diploma in 1872.

Fairbanks attended Cleveland Law College after graduation. His academic prowess enabled him to complete the program and pass the bar exam in only six months.

Charles Fairbanks’s Career

Fairbanks’s first work was as an Associated Press agent in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As a political reporter, he reported for Horace Greeley on political gatherings.

Fairbanks relocated to Indianapolis in 1874. In the same year, he began his legal career with the Chesapeake and Ohio railroad company. His career prospered as he earned a name for himself as a railroad financier, managing insolvent Indianapolis, Bloomington, and Western Railroad competently. His work prowess attracted the attention of the Indiana Republican Party.

In the late 1880s, Fairbanks made his political debut. The 1892 triumph of the Democrats provided Fairbanks with the opportunity to improve his position inside the Republican Party as he assisted in the party’s reconstruction. In the same year, he befriended Ohio governor William McKinley. This friendship was advantageous for both guys.

In 1893, his first bid to be elected to the United States Senate was unsuccessful. Unfazed, he attempted again and in 1896 was eventually elected to the United States Senate as a Republican. He was sworn in on March 4, 1897.

As a senator, Fairbanks demonstrated considerable competence. Before becoming chairman of the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds, he served as chairman of the Committee on Immigration. In both workplaces, he performed exceptionally well.

In 1898, he aided and advised President William McKinley throughout the Spanish-American War. He was named to the United States and British Joint High Commission, which effectively met to settle the US-Canadian boundary issue concerning Alaska.

Fairbanks’s popularity only grew as a senator. He adhered to party policies and was admired by party authorities for his composure and conventional thought. He staunchly defended the government of William McKinley and was liked by many Republicans. As a result, he became an obvious choice to succeed McKinley.

In 1900, when Ohio Senator Mark Hanna presented Fairbanks’s name as a candidate for the Vice-Presidential position, he denied the offer because he sought the presidency. He preferred to remain in the Senate.

After the terrible and untimely death of President McKinley, Fairbanks’s political career collapsed precipitously. The subsequent succession of Theodore Roosevelt dramatically altered Fairbanks’ political fortune. While the former advanced McKinley’s policies, Fairbanks’ position in presidential affairs diminished dramatically.

The period following McKinley’s death was harmful to Fairbanks. Unlike during McKinley’s administration, when Fairbanks received considerable attention and popularity as the president’s chief advisor, Roosevelt dominated the press during his presidency, leaving no room for Fairbanks.

The Senate nomination of a young Indiana activist, Albert J. Beveridge, exacerbated the situation. Beveridge became a significant danger to Fairbanks as his radical proposals got widespread attention.

During the 1904 elections, Fairbanks received the vice-presidential nomination for the Republican party. He knew at that point that the presidency was a distant possibility. As a result, he compromised to make himself available for the position of vice president.

The Republicans won the 1904 presidential election by a landslide. Fairbanks assumed the position of Vice President while Roosevelt continued to serve as President. Fairbanks spent most of his time as vice president presiding over the Senate. He participated in Roosevelt’s ambitious legislative program and worked diligently to bury unpopular measures in unfriendly Senate committees.

Fairbanks devoted a great amount of effort during his vice-presidency attempting to gain the Republican presidential nomination in 1908 but was unsuccessful. President Roosevelt dispelled all speculations by deciding not to run for re-election. As a result of Roosevelt’s selection of William Howard Taft as his successor, Fairbanks’s dreams for the presidency were dashed.

The 1908 election of William Howard Taft as president and James Sherman as vice president signified the end of Fairbanks’ political career. He resumed his legal career while keeping a low profile in politics. In 1912, he advocated for Taft’s re-election, and in 1914, he regained popularity as a proponent of party unity.

In 1916, Fairbanks unsuccessfully sought the Republican presidential nomination for the final time. However, he did earn the nomination for Vice President as Charles Evans Hughes’ running mate. Nevertheless, the election was won by the Democrats, as Woodrow Wilson and Thomas Marshall defeated Hughes and Fairbanks in a close race.

After losing the 1916 presidential race, Fairbanks retired and began practicing law in Indianapolis. During the final days of his life, he was in poor health.

Personal History and Legacy

On October 6, 1874, Fairbanks wed his boyhood girlfriend Cornelia Cole. Following the wedding, the couple relocated to Indianapolis, Indiana.
Fairbanks passed away on June 4, 1918, as a result of nephritis. He was laid to rest in Crown Hill Cemetery.

Numerous locations have been named after him posthumously, including the city of Fairbanks, Alaska, the Fairbanks School District in Union County, Ohio, the Fairbanks School District in Oregon, the Fairbanks Township in Michigan, and others.

Estimated Net Worth

Charles is one of the wealthiest politicians and one of the most popular. According to our investigation of Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider, Charles W. Fairbanks has an estimated net worth of $1.5 million.