Charles W. Brooks

This article is about the United States Senator. For other people named Charles Brooks, see Charles Brooks (disambiguation).
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
(19201943, divorced)
Mary E. Thomas Peavey
(19461957, 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.


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

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