(39.) ALFRED M. LANDON (1887-1987)
“The Poor Man’s Coolidge”
Republican Landon/Frank Knox
Defeated by Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt/John Garner, 1936
Landon was born in Pennsylvania in 1887 and moved to Kansas in 1912. Although he did not seek a political position, he became an important figure in state politics. The sobriquet, “The Poor Man’s Coolidge,” as he has been called, is hardly apt, as those who knew Alf will testify. He was a warm, friendly person.
Landon’s father was a successful oil promoter and his son found the industry to his liking, too. After service in World War I, he resumed his work, but he was sought out by his party and in 1922 became governor of Kansas. He was reelected two years later, being one of a very few Republicans who weathered the Democrat landslide. This, and the record he had made with cash basis budgeting throughout his state, contributed to his nomination for the presidency in 1936. In spite of his personal appeal and the friendly feeling toward him, he carried only two states, which did not include his own state of Kansas.