Harold Stassen

Stassen, USNR, while serving as Aide to Admiral William F. Halsey, Commander, Third Fleet, bef. August 1944, photo by U.S. Navy

Birth Name: Harold Edward Stassen

Date of Birth: April 13, 1907

Place of Birth: West St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.

Date of Death: March 4, 2001

Place of Death: Bloomington, Minnesota, U.S.

*75% German
*25% Czech

Harold Stassen was an American politician. A Republican, he served as District Attorney of Dakota County, from 1931 to 1939, the 25th Governor of Minnesota, from January 2, 1939 to April 27, 1943, the 3rd President of the University of Pennsylvania, from 1948 to 1953, and Director of the United States Foreign Operations Administration, from 1953 to 1955.

He was a candidate for the Republican Party’s nomination for President of the United States in 1944, 1948, 1952, 1964, 1968, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, and 1992.

Harold was the son of Elsbeth/Elsie Emma (Mueller) and William Andrew Stassen. His father was born in Minnesota, to a German father and a Czech mother. His mother was a German immigrant.

He was married to Esther Glewwe.

Harold’s paternal grandfather was Barnhardt Hinrich Stassen (the son of John Henry Stassen and Becke Margaretha Heicken). Barnhardt was born in Oldenburg, Lower Saxony, Germany. John was the son of Hinrich Stassen and Marie Maertfeld. Becke was the daughter of John Heicken and Mary Talke.

Harold’s paternal grandmother was named Josephine Sophia Benesh/Benes (the daughter of John Benesh and Mary J.). Josephine was born in Prague, Hlavní město Praha, Czech Republic.

Harold’s maternal grandfather was named Robert Henry Mueller. Robert was an ethnic German, born in Gniew, Tczew County, Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland.

Harold’s maternal grandmother was named Agnetha Jantzen (the daughter of Abraham Janzen and Agnetha).

Harold was one of four people of significant Slavic ancestry to win a major political party’s Presidential caucus and/or primary. He won 1 state in 1944, Nebraska; 4 states in 1948; and 1 state in 1952, Minnesota. The other three people are:
*Edmund Muskie (1972; Democratic; won 4 states; Muskie was previously the 1968 Democratic nominee for Vice President of the United States; he was of Polish descent)
*Tom Harkin (1992; Democratic; won 1 state, Iowa; Harkin’s mother was of Slovene descent)
*John Kasich (Republican; ran in 2000 and 2016: in 2016, he won 1 state, Ohio; Kasich is of Czech or Rusyn, and Croatian descent)

Other people of significant Slavic ancestry who have mounted plausible or semi-plausible campaigns for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States are:
*George H. Bender (who sought the 1960 Republican nomination; Bender was of Czech descent)
*James Traficant (who sought the 1988 Democratic nomination; Traficant’s mother was of Slovak descent)
*Dennis Kucinich (who sought the 2004 and 2008 Democratic nominations; Kucinich’s father was of Croatian descent)
*Gary Johnson (who sought the 2012 Republican nomination, and was the Libertarian Party’s 2012 and 2016 nominee for President of the United States; Johnson’s mother was of Ukrainian descent)
*Tim Pawlenty (who sought the 2012 Republican nomination; Pawlenty’s father was of Polish descent)
*Amy Klobuchar (who sought the 2020 Democratic nomination; Klobuchar’s father was of Slovene descent)
*Joe Sestak (who sought the 2020 Democratic nomination; Sestak’s father was of Slovak descent)
*Perry Johnson (who sought the 2024 Republican nomination; Johnson’s mother was of Rusyn and Slovak descent)

Sources: Genealogy of Harold Stassen – https://www.geni.com

Harold Stassen on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

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