Mark Hanna

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Person.png Mark Hanna  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(politician, deep politician)
Mark Hanna by WJ Root, 1896 (cropped).jpg
BornSeptember 24, 1837
New Lisbon, Ohio
DiedFebruary 15, 1904 (Age 66)
Washington, D.C.
Alma materCleveland Central High School, Case Western Reserve University
SpouseCharlotte Rhodes
InterestsPanama Canal
PartyRepublican Party (United States)
American businessman and Republican party kingmaker

Employment.png Ohio/Senator Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
March 5, 1897 - February 15, 1904

Employment.png Republican National Committee/Chair

In office
June 18, 1896 - February 15, 1904

Marcus Alonzo Hanna was an American businessman and Republican politician who served as a United States Senator from Ohio as well as chairman of the Republican National Committee. A friend and political ally of President William McKinley. With a massive budget and a defamation campaign, they succeeded in defeating the populist candidate William Jennings Bryan in 1896 and 1900.

Hanna was born in New Lisbon (today Lisbon), Ohio, in 1837. His family moved to the growing city of Cleveland in his teenage years, where he attended high school with John D. Rockefeller. He was expelled from college, and entered the family mercantile business. He served briefly during the American Civil War and married Charlotte Rhodes; her father, Daniel Rhodes, took Hanna into his business after the war. Hanna was soon a partner in the firm, which grew to have interests in many areas, especially coal and iron. He was a millionaire by his 40th birthday, and turned his attention to politics, grooming select candidates.

Despite Hanna's efforts on his behalf, Ohio Senator John Sherman failed to gain the Republican nomination for president in 1884 and 1888. With Sherman becoming too old to be considered a contender, Hanna worked to elect McKinley. In 1895, Hanna left his business career to devote himself full-time to McKinley's campaign for president. Hanna paid all expenses to get McKinley the nomination the following year. The Democrats nominated former Nebraska Congressman William Jennings Bryan, who ran on a populist bimetallism, or "Free Silver", platform. Hanna's fundraising broke records, and once initial public enthusiasm for Bryan and his program subsided, McKinley was comfortably elected.

Declining a Cabinet position, Hanna secured appointment as senator from Ohio after Sherman was made Secretary of State; he was re-elected by the Ohio General Assembly in 1898 and 1904. After McKinley's assassination in 1901, Senator Hanna worked for the building of a canal in Panama, rather than elsewhere in Central America, as had previously been proposed. He died in 1904, and is remembered for his role in McKinley's election, thanks to savage cartoons by such illustrators as Homer Davenport, who lampooned him as McKinley's political master.


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