Frank C. Walker

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Frank C. Walker
Frank C. Walker.jpg
Walker leaving the White House with DNC executives W. Forbes Morgan and James Farley after meeting with President Franklin D. Roosevelt (December 30, 1936)
Chair of the Democratic National Committee
In office
January 18, 1943 – January 23, 1944
Preceded byEdward J. Flynn
Succeeded byRobert E. Hannegan
54th United States Postmaster General
In office
September 10, 1940 – May 8, 1945
PresidentFranklin D. Roosevelt
Harry S. Truman
Preceded byJames Farley
Succeeded byRobert E. Hannegan
Executive Director of the National Emergency Council
In office
Appointed byFranklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded byposition established[1]
Succeeded byDonald R. Richberg[2]
Treasurer of the Democratic National Committee
In office
July 31, 1932 – January 17, 1934
Preceded byJames W. Gerard
Succeeded byWalter J. Cummings
Member of the Montana House of Representatives from Silver Bow County
In office
January 6, 1913[3] – January 4, 1915[4]
Preceded bymulti-member district[3]
Succeeded bymulti-member district[4]
Personal details
Frank Comerford Walker

(1886-05-30)May 30, 1886
Plymouth, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedSeptember 13, 1959(1959-09-13) (aged 73)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseHallie Boucher
RelativesThomas Joseph Walker (brother)
EducationGonzaga University (BA)
University of Notre Dame (LLB)
Military service
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
RankFirst Lieutenant
Battles/warsWorld War I

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


Frank Walker was born in Plymouth, Pennsylvania, the son of David Walker, a grocer, and his wife, Ellen Comerford, but moved with his family to Montana when he was four years old. 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. He married Hallie Boucher in November 1914 and they had two children (Thomas and Laura).[5]

In 1925, he moved to New York City, where he became manager and general counsel of Comerford Theatres, a chain of movie theaters owned by his uncle Michael Comerford. For a time he was the pro-bono legal advisor to the Motion Picture Theater Owners of America, a trade organization.

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. He served as Treasurer of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) from 1932 to 1934.[6][7] 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.[8]

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 July 1.

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, and was buried in St. Patrick's Cemetery, Butte, Montana.


  1. ^ Executive Order 6433-A—Creation of the National Emergency Council
  2. ^ United States Congress Joint Committee on Printing (December 1934). Official Congressional Directory - 74th Congress, 1st Session (1935) - First Edition. United States Government Publishing Office.
  3. ^ a b Montana House of Representatives Journal (1913)
  4. ^ a b Montana House of Representatives Journal (1915)
  5. ^ Frank C. Walker Papers (1925–1959)
  6. ^ "F. C. Walker Named as Aide to Farley". The New York Times. Vol. LXXXI, no. 27218. August 1, 1932. p. 6.
  7. ^ "2 Quit Party Jobs as Roosevelt Hits Lobby Practices". The New York Times. Vol. LXXXIII, no. 27753 (Late City ed.). January 18, 1934. p. 1.
  8. ^ Feis, Herbert (1962) [1050]. The Road to Pearl Harbor (2nd ed.). New York: Atheneum. pp. 176n, 304, 307n.

Further reading[edit]

Walker, Frank Comerford (1997). Ferrell, Robert H. (ed.). FDR's Quiet Confidant: The Autobiography of Frank C. Walker. University Press of Colorado. ISBN 0870813978. LCCN 96054006.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by United States Postmaster General
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Chair of the Democratic National Committee
Succeeded by