KNOWLAND, William Fife, (1908 - 1974)

Senate Years of Service: 1945-1959
Party: Republican

KNOWLAND, William Fife, (son of Joseph Russell Knowland), a Senator from California; born in Alameda, Alameda County, Calif., June 26, 1908; attended the public schools and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1929; engaged in the newspaper publishing business in Oakland, Calif., in 1933; member, California State assembly 1933-1935; member, State senate 1935-1939; Republican National committeeman from California 1938-1942 and chairman of the executive committee 1940-1942; served in the Second World War as an enlisted man and officer; was serving overseas when appointed on August 14, 1945, as a Republican to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Hiram W. Johnson; assumed office August 26, 1945, and was subsequently elected November 5, 1946, to fill the unexpired term ending January 3, 1947, and at the same time elected for the six-year term ending January 3, 1953; reelected in 1952 and served from August 26, 1945, to January 2, 1959; was not a candidate for renomination in 1958; majority leader 1953-1955; minority leader 1955-1959; chairman, Republican Policy Committee (Eighty-third Congress); unsuccessful candidate for Governor of California in 1958; resumed his newspaper career and took an active interest in civic affairs in the Oakland, Calif., area; died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his summer home near Guerneville, Calif., February 23, 1974; interment in Chapel of Memories Cemetery, Oakland, Calif.


Bibliography

American National Biography; Montgomery, Gayle B., and James W. Johnson. One Step From the White House: The Rise and Fall of Senator William F. Knowland. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1998; Flynn, Matthew J. "Reconsidering the China Lobby: Senator William F. Knowland and U.S.-China Policy, 1945-1958." Ph.d. dissertation, Ohio University, 2004.