Alben W. Barkley

official portrait of Albert W. Barkley, 1949, Truman Presidential Library, Hessler Studio, Washington, D.C.

Birth Name: Willie Alben Barkley

Date of Birth: November 24, 1877

Place of Birth: Lowes, Kentucky, U.S.

Date of Death: April 30, 1956

Place of Death: Lexington, Virginia, U.S.

Ethnicity: Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, Scottish, English

Alben W. Barkley was an American lawyer and politician. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the 35th Vice President of the United States, from January 20, 1949 to January 20, 1953. He was elected to the position in 1948. He was also a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Kentucky, from March 4, 1913 to March 3, 1927, a U.S. Senator from Kentucky, from March 4, 1927 to January 19, 1949, and again from January 3, 1955 to April 30, 1956, Senate Majority Leader, from July 14, 1937 to January 3, 1947, and Senate Minority Leader, from January 3, 1947 to January 3, 1949.

He was a candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President of the United States in 1952.

Vice President Barkley was the son of Electa Eliza (Smith) and John Wilson Barkley. He changed his birth name, “Willie Alben”, to “Alben William”. He was married to Jane (Rucker) Hadley Barkley, until his death. He had three children with his first wife, Dorothy Brower, to whom he was married until her death.

Vice President Barkley’s paternal grandfather was Alben Graham Barkley (the son of Henry Barkley and Mary Cawthorn). Vice President Barkley’s grandfather Alben was born in North Carolina. Henry was the son of Robert Barkley and Eleanor Cathey.

Vice President Barkley’s paternal grandmother was Amanda Louise Girand (the daughter of Francis Marion Girand and Elizabeth Lucinda McKenzie). Amanda was born in Kentucky. Elizabeth was the daughter of Andrew McKenzie and Elizabeth “Betsy” Stevenson, whose parents were from County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Vice President Barkley’s maternal grandfather was named James Henry Smith.

Sources: Genealogies of Vice President Barkley (focusing on his father’s side) –

1 Response

  1. Daron says:

    Defiantly see some Cherokee features.

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