Charles W. Brooks

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Charles W. Brooks
United States Senator
from Illinois
In office
November 22, 1940 – January 3, 1949
Preceded by James M. Slattery
Succeeded by Paul Douglas
Personal details
Born Charles Wayland Brooks
(1897-03-08)March 8, 1897
West Bureau, Illinois
Died January 14, 1957(1957-01-14) (aged 59)
Chicago, Illinois
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Gertrude Ackerly
(1920–1943, divorced)
Mary E. Thomas Peavey
(1946–1957, his death)
Military service
Service/branch U.S. Marine Corps
Years of service 1917–1919
Rank First Lieutenant
Battles/wars World War I

Charles Wayland Brooks (March 8, 1897 – January 14, 1957) was a Republican U.S. Senator from Illinois from 1940 to 1949.[1]

Born in West Bureau, Illinois, Brooks served in the Marines during World War I as a first lieutenant from 1917 to 1919; while in combat he was wounded several times.

Brooks ran for Governor of Illinois in 1936 but was defeated by incumbent Democrat Henry Horner. He was elected by a very narrow margin in 1940 to fill the senate vacancy caused by the death of J. Hamilton Lewis.[2] Brooks was reelected in 1942,[3] but was defeated in 1948 by Democrat Paul Douglas.

Brooks returned to Chicago and died at age 59 at Passavant Hospital in early 1957, after a massive heart attack.[4]


Brooks married Gertrude Ackerly in August 1920 and they had a son, Russell (b. 1924). She divorced him in April 1943 in Reno, Nevada, citing cruelty.[5][6] He married Mary Elizabeth Thomas Peavey, a widow and daughter of U.S. Senate colleague John W. Thomas of Idaho. They wed in May 1946,[7] and remained married to his death. Mary Brooks later became a member of the Idaho Senate.[8] and for eight years was Director of the United States Mint during the Nixon and Ford administrations. Her son, John Peavey (b. 1933), is a former Democratic politician in Idaho, formerly a Republican.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Brooks sworn in as new Illinois senator". Daily Kentucky New Era. Hopkinsville. (NEA photo). November 23, 1940. p. 6. 
  3. ^ "Illinois returns Senator Brooks". Toledo Blade. Ohio. INS. November 4, 1942. p. 1. 
  4. ^ "Ex-Illinois senator dies in hospital". Sarasota Journal. Florida. Associated Press. January 14, 1957. p. 9. 
  5. ^ "Wife divorces Senator". Pittsburgh Press. April 10, 1943. p. 1. 
  6. ^ "Milestones". Time. April 1943. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Illinois senator to wed May 8". St. Petersburg Times. Florida. INS. April 28, 1946. p. 10. 
  8. ^ Connor, Harriet J. (January 3, 1969). "State Senator is chairman". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. p. 8. 

External links[edit]

U.S. Senate
Preceded by
James M. Slattery
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Illinois
Served alongside: Scott W. Lucas
Succeeded by
Paul Douglas