William F. McCombs

William Frank McCombs

McCombs in 1916
Chairman of the Democratic National Committee
In office
Preceded by Norman E. Mack
Succeeded by Vance C. McCormick
Personal details
Born (1876-12-26)December 26, 1876
Hamburg, Arkansas
Died February 22, 1921(1921-02-22) (aged 44)
Greenwich, Connecticut
Education Princeton University
Harvard Law School

William Frank McCombs (December 26, 1876 – February 22, 1921) was a lawyer who served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1912 through 1916.


McCombs was born on December 26, 1876 in Hamburg, Arkansas.

He graduated from Princeton University in 1898 and obtained an LL.B. from Harvard Law School in 1901. He was associated with the law firm of McCombs & Ryan in New York City.

McCombs helped Woodrow Wilson become the Governor of New Jersey and then managed Wilson's successful campaign for the 1912 Democratic presidential nomination. Once nominated, Wilson made him chairman of the DNC and essentially his "campaign manager." Later, McCombs came to oppose Wilson's style and use of power.

In November 1916, he ran for U.S. Senator from New York but was defeated by Republican William M. Calder.

In poor health, McCombs died in Greenwich, Connecticut on February 22, 1921, leaving behind an incomplete memoir, which was published as Making Woodrow Wilson President. He was buried at Roselawn Cemetery in Little Rock, Arkansas.


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