Who was James Francis Byrnes? (1879 – 1972)


James Francis Byrnes (1879 – 1972), American statesman, born in Charleston, South Carolina. At the age of 14 he went to work in a law office; ten years later he was admitted to the South Carolina bar. Byrnes represented South Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives (1911-25) and in the U.S. Senate (1931-41).

James F. Byrnes was appointed (1941) an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court but resigned to serve as head of federal agencies for economic stabilization (1942-43) and economic mobilization (1943-45) during World War II. Appointed secretary of state (1945) by President Harry S. Truman, he represented the U.S. at the post-war peace talks.

In 1947 he resigned because of ill health. He was governor (1951-55) of South Carolina, and wrote two books, Speaking Frankly (1947) and All in One Lifetime (1958).

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