Under William McKinley, Garret Hobart served as the 24th Vice President of the United States. Hobart, who was born into a family of clerics, began his career as a corporate attorney. Briefly, he held jobs in municipal administration before running as a Republican for the New Jersey General Assembly and the New Jersey Senate. The pinnacle of his career was when he was nominated as the Republican vice presidential nominee. In contrast to his predecessors, Hobart considerably enlarged the vice president’s authority. He became a presidential adviser and assumed a leadership position as Senate president. In addition, Hobart and McKinley were good friends, and McKinley relied entirely on Hobart. Over time, he became McKinley’s closest confidant and companion, to the point where he was referred to as “Assistant President” and his residence was dubbed the “Little Cream White House.” Hobart’s affable character and charisma were one of the primary reasons for his success. He had a sense of humor, charisma, and tact, which contributed to his success in both the public and private spheres. His capacity to collaborate with others made him an exceptional state politician of his day.
Youth and Early Life
Garret Augustus Hobart was born on June 3, 1844, in Long Branch, New Jersey to Addison Willard Hobart and Sophia Vanderveer. His father was an educator and founder of an elementary school. He had two brothers, one of which was older than the other.
Young Hobart began his academic career at his father’s Long Branch school. When the family moved to Malboro, Hobart enrolled in the local elementary school. Academically gifted, he excelled in both academics and athletics.
In 1859, he graduated from a Matawan boarding school. After opting out of normal education for a year, he enrolled at Rutgers College. He finished third in his class and earned his bachelor’s degree in 1863, demonstrating his academic prowess. The certificate was presented to him by Theodore Frelinghuysen, New Jersey’s first major-party vice-presidential candidate.
Garret Hobart’s Career
After graduating from Rutgers, Hobart temporarily taught to repay his student loans. During this period, Socrates Tuttle, a friend of Hobart’s father, asked him to study law at his practice. The offer was accepted by Hobart While pursuing a legal education, he supported himself as a bank teller.
In 1866, Hobart was admitted as an attorney to the bar. In the same year, he was named grand jury clerk for Passaic County because of Tuttle’s generosity. In 1871, he quickly advanced to the position of a city attorney. The next year, he was promoted to chancery master.
Hobart’s political career began in 1872 when he campaigned for the New Jersey General Assembly from the third legislative district in Passaic County on the Republican ticket. He won by two-thirds of the vote. In 1873, he was re-elected for a second term. He served two terms successfully.
In 1874, he was elected Speaker of the Assembly, a position he held for two consecutive terms, the maximum allowed at the time. In 1876, he was subsequently nominated for the New Jersey Senate seat representing Passaic County. In 1879, he was re-elected for a second term as president.
Hobart served as President of the Louisiana Senate from 1881 to 1882, becoming the first man to manage both legislative chambers. From 1883 until 1913, he was the Republican Party’s candidate for the United States Senate.
In addition to his political career, Hobart maintained an effective practice as a corporate attorney. In addition, Hobart was a court-appointed receiver of insolvent railways. He was responsible for rebuilding and rehabilitating the bankrupt railroads. Additionally, he served as President of Paterson Railway Company.
Since 1876, he has attended every Republican National Convention as a delegate. He served as a member of the New Jersey Republican Committee from 1880 to 1891. In the meanwhile, beginning in 1884, he represented New Jersey in Republican National Committee activities.
The involvement of Hobart in national politics became significant by 1895. He was the key campaign manager for John Grigg’s bid for governor of New Jersey. Due to his charisma and efficient administration, Hobart quickly emerged as a leading candidate for the Republican vice-presidential nomination.
During the 1896 presidential election, Hobart supported Republican presidential candidate William McKinley. The desired position was nominated to McKinley on the first ballot. Despite his unwillingness to accept the position, Hobart was declared as the Vice Presidential candidate immediately after.
On November 3, 1896, the Republican candidates McKinley and Hobart defeated their Democratic opponents with a decisive victory at the polls. Post-winning, Hobart spent the four months between the election victory and inauguration preparing for the vice-presidential position. On March 4, he was sworn into office in the Senate Chamber.
After receiving the position, the Hobarts relocated to Washington. Hobart and McKinley’s amicable relationship extended to their wives, as First Ladies Ida and Jennie became friends. The two families frequently visited one another and maintained casual contact.
In contrast to his predecessors, who essentially played second fiddle and whose constitutional and political functions were limited, Hobart’s vice-presidential role was far more prominent. He was such a close advisor to McKinley and his cabinet that he became known as the ‘Assistant President’ because he continuously led the administration’s legislative agenda.
While serving as Vice President, Hobart continued to serve as the Joint Traffic Association’s arbitrator. Hobart resigned as arbitrator only in 1897, when it was determined that JTA had violated the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.
Garret’s Major Opera
In 1899, at the end of the Spanish-American War, Hobart performed his most important task as vice president. He played a crucial role by voting the tie-breaking vote in the Senate to deny an amendment to the treaty with Spain that would have guaranteed the Philippine Islands’ future independence.
Personal History and Legacy
On July 21, 1869, Hobart married Jennie Tuttle, daughter of Socrates Tuttle. The couple was fortunate with four children, two of whom survived childhood.
In the year 1898, Hobart fell very ill. The severity of his heart condition worsened with time. Hobart stepped down from public life on November 1, 1899. His condition deteriorated rapidly.
The death of Hobart occurred on November 21, 1899. His passing was lamented by the general populace. Until his funeral, state buildings were covered in black, and flags were flying at half-staff.
He was interred in Paterson’s Cedar Lawn Cemetery. His funeral was attended by prominent political figures, including President McKinley.
A statue of Hobart was constructed posthumously in front of the city hall in Paterson. He is commemorated by the naming of the cities of Hobart, Oklahoma, and Hobart, Washington.
Estimated Net Worth
Garret is one of the wealthiest politicians and one of the most prominent politicians. According to our research, Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider, Garret Hobart has an estimated net worth of $1.5 million.