Vice Presidential Spotlight: Henry A. Wallace

Henry Wallace and Franklin Roosevelt at Val-Kill Cottage in Hyde Park, NY. August 8, 1940

As editor of Wallaces’ Farmer, a leading farm journal of the time, Henry A. Wallace was an influential voice for farm relief and tariff reform.  In 1933, FDR chose Wallace as his Secretary of Agriculture.  Possessing strong administrative and scientific skills, Wallace implemented a host of revolutionary farm programs, including the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, the Soil Conservation Service, the Farm Credit Administration, federal crop insurance, and food stamp and school lunch programs.

In 1940, Roosevelt selected Wallace to be his running mate. One of America’s most effective Vice Presidents, Wallace helped lead the nation’s war mobilization effort and played a key role in planning for the post-war peace.  But he was unpopular with many Democratic leaders, who argued he was too idealistic.  The 1944 vice presidential nomination went to Harry S Truman.  After FDR’s death, Wallace became a leading advocate for post-war cooperation with the Soviet Union and a prominent critic of the Cold War.  He ran an unsuccessful third-party campaign for the presidency in 1948.  Wallace retired to his beloved farm in upstate New York, where he devoted himself to his first love– scientific farming. He died on November 18, 1965.