Babies named for Robert La Follette

Politician Robert La Follette (1855-1925)
Robert La Follette

Politician Robert Marion La Follette (1855-1925) served as Governor of Wisconsin (from 1901 to 1906) and as U.S. Senator from Wisconsin (from 1906 to 1925).

In 1924, he unsuccessfully ran for U.S. President as a third-party candidate. He wasn’t able to overcome Coolidge, but he did win 16.6% of the popular vote (and he carried the state of Wisconsin, of course).

Dozens of baby boys — most born in the state of Wisconsin, unsurprisingly — were named in La Follette’s honor during the early decades of the 1900s. Some examples…

The fourth namesake on this list went on to be appointed Commissioner of Indian Affairs in 1966. (He was the second Native American to hold the position.) He was sworn in by Lyndon B. Johnson, who said:

This morning Mr. Robert La Follette Bennett — who bears this great name of an American who fought all of his life for the rights of his fellow citizens, named for a man who is revered from one end of the country to the other, and now his namesake — comes here to assume a position in which he will be able to carry on that proud tradition.

Dozens of other babies were given the first name La Follette. For instance, La Follette Marion Allen was born in Wisconsin in 1902. (His father was named DeWitt Clinton Allen, interestingly.)

Several months after Robert M. La Follette passed away in 1925, his son Robert M. La Follette, Jr., was elected to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy. La Follette, Jr., served in the Senate for more than 21 years before he was finally ousted in the mid-1940s by none other than Joseph McCarthy.


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