Frank Comerford Walker

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Frank C. Walker
51st United States Postmaster General
In office
September 10, 1940 – May 8, 1945
Preceded by James A. Farley
Succeeded by Robert E. Hannegan
Personal details
Born May 30, 1886
Plymouth, Pennsylvania, United States
Died September 13, 1959 (aged 73)
New York City, New York, United States
Political party Democratic
Profession Politician
Religion Roman Catholic

Frank Comerford Walker (May 30, 1886 – September 13, 1959) was an American lawyer and politician. He served as the United States Postmaster General between 1940 and 1945. He also served as the chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1943 until 1944.

Biography[edit]

He was born in Plymouth, Pennsylvania. He attended Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington for three years and earned a law degree from Notre Dame in 1909. He then joined his older brother Thomas in a law practice in Butte, Montana. In 1913, he was elected to a term as a Montana state representative.

During World War I, Walker volunteered for the U.S. Army. He became a first lieutenant and saw action on the Western Front. After the war, he returned to his law practice.

In 1925, he moved to New York City, where he become manager and general counsel of Comerford Theatres, a chain of movie theaters owned by his relative Michael Comerford.

In New York, Walker expanded his political activities, and became an early supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1931, he co-founded the Roosevelt for President Society. In 1932, he became Treasurer of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Until Roosevelt's death, Walker was one of his closest advisers.

When Roosevelt became President in 1933, he appointed Walker executive secretary of the National Emergency Council, a New Deal agency related to the NRA.

In 1940, Walker became Postmaster General (succeeding James Farley, who had also been DNC Chairman and Roosevelt's campaign manager). As Postmaster General, Walker continued his role as political adviser, often taking part in matters far removed from the Post Office. For instance, during the negotiations which preceded the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, he was in regular contact with Japanese Ambassador Nomura.[1]

In 1943, Walker also became Chairman of the DNC, serving until 1944. In 1944, he stepped down from the DNC, and was succeeded by Robert Hannegan.

In May 1945, Walker announced his retirement as Postmaster General, to allow President Harry Truman to appoint his own candidate to the office. Truman selected Hannegan to succeed Walker in this office too, effective 1 July.

Later in 1945, Truman appointed Walker as a member of the first U.S. delegation to the United Nations.

He died in New York City, New York on September 13, 1959, at the age of 73.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Feis, Herbert (1962) [1050]. The Road to Pearl Harbor (2nd ed.). New York: Atheneum. pp. 176n, 304, 307n. 
Political offices
Preceded by
James A. Farley
United States Postmaster General
Served under: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman

1940 – 1945
Succeeded by
Robert E. Hannegan
Party political offices
Preceded by
Edward J. Flynn
Chairman of the Democratic National Committee
1943–1944
Succeeded by
Robert E. Hannegan