William F. McCombs

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William McCombs
William Frank McCombs in 1917.jpg
Chair of the Democratic National Committee
In office
July 15, 1912 – June 15, 1916
Preceded by Norman E. Mack
Succeeded by Vance C. McCormick
Personal details
William Frank McCombs

(1876-12-26)December 26, 1876
Hamburg, Arkansas], U.S.
DiedFebruary 22, 1921(1921-02-22) (aged 44)
Greenwich, Connecticut, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Education Princeton University ( BA)
Harvard University ( LLB)

William Frank McCombs (December 26, 1876 – February 22, 1921) was a lawyer who served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1912 through 1916.


McCombs was born on December 26, 1876 in Hamburg, Arkansas.

He graduated from Princeton University in 1898 and obtained an LL.B. from Harvard Law School in 1901. He was associated with the law firm of McCombs & Ryan in New York City.

McCombs helped Woodrow Wilson become the Governor of New Jersey and then managed Wilson's successful campaign for the 1912 Democratic presidential nomination. Once nominated, Wilson made him chairman of the DNC and essentially his "campaign manager." Later, McCombs came to oppose Wilson's style and use of power.

In November 1916, he ran for U.S. Senator from New York but was defeated by Republican William M. Calder.

In poor health, McCombs died in Greenwich, Connecticut on February 22, 1921, leaving behind an incomplete memoir, which was published as Making Woodrow Wilson President. He was buried at Roselawn Cemetery in Little Rock, Arkansas.


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Party political offices
Preceded by
Norman E. Mack
Chair of the Democratic National Committee
Succeeded by
Vance C. McCormick
First Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from New York
( Class 1)

Succeeded by
Royal S. Copeland