Henry A. WallaceHenry Agard Wallace (October 7, 1888 – November 18, 1965) was an American politician, journalist, and farmer who served as the 11th U.S. secretary of agriculture, the 33rd vice president of the United States, and the 10th U.S. secretary of commerce. He was also the presidential nominee of the left-wing Progressive Party in the 1948 election.
The oldest son of Henry Cantwell Wallace, who served as the U.S. secretary of agriculture from 1921 to 1924, Henry A. Wallace was born in Adair County, Iowa in 1888. After graduating from Iowa State University in 1910, Wallace worked as a writer and editor for his family's farm journal, ''Wallace's Farmer''. He also founded the Hi-Bred Corn Company, a hybrid corn company that eventually became extremely successful. Wallace displayed an intellectual curiosity about a wide array of subjects, including statistics and economics, and he explored various religious and spiritual movements, including Theosophy. After the death of his father in 1924, Wallace increasingly drifted away from the Republican Party, and he supported Democratic presidential nominee Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1932 election.
Wallace served as secretary of agriculture under President Roosevelt from 1933 to 1940. He strongly supported Roosevelt's New Deal and presided over a major shift in federal agricultural policy, implementing measures designed to curtail agricultural surpluses and ameliorate rural poverty. Overcoming strong opposition from conservative party leaders, Wallace was nominated for vice president at the 1940 Democratic National Convention. The Democratic ticket of Roosevelt and Wallace triumphed in the 1940 presidential election, and Wallace continued to play an important role in the Roosevelt administration before and during World War II. At the 1944 Democratic National Convention, conservative party leaders defeated Wallace's bid for re-nomination, replacing him on the Democratic ticket with Harry S. Truman. The ticket of Roosevelt and Truman won the 1944 presidential election, and in early 1945 Roosevelt appointed Wallace as secretary of commerce.
Roosevelt died in April 1945 and was succeeded by Truman. Wallace continued to serve as secretary of commerce until September 1946, when Truman fired him for delivering a speech urging conciliatory policies towards the Soviet Union. Wallace and his supporters established the Progressive Party and launched a third party campaign for president. The Progressive party platform called for conciliatory policies towards the Soviet Union, desegregation of public schools, gender equality, free trade, a national health insurance program, and other left-wing policies. Accusations of Communist influences and Wallace's association with controversial Theosophist figure Nicholas Roerich undermined his campaign, and he received just 2.4 percent of the nationwide popular vote. Wallace broke with the Progressive Party in 1950 over the Korean War, and in 1952 he published ''Where I Was Wrong'', in which he declared the Soviet Union to be "utterly evil." Wallace largely fell into political obscurity after the early 1950s, though he continued to make public appearances until the year before his death in 1965. Provided by Wikipedia