Brand Whitlock

From Ohio History Central
Whitlock, Brand.jpg
Brand Whitlock, 1916

Brand Whitlock was an American attorney, author, elected official and diplomat in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Whitlock was born in Urbana, Ohio, on March 4, 1869. As a young man, he practiced law and worked as a journalist for the Chicago Herald. Whitlock was very interested in the Progressive reforms that became popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Whitlock's first experience in politics came when he worked for Governor John P. Altgeld of Illinois. Altgeld was active in Progressive reform. Whitlock became more interested in politics after moving to Toledo, Ohio. He was a supporter of Samuel "Golden Rule" Jones, Toledo's mayor. After Jones's death, Whitlock was elected mayor of Toledo. He continued the reforms that Jones had instituted. A popular mayor, Whitlock served four consecutive terms as mayor. During this period, Whitlock also wrote a number of novels, including The Thirteenth District (1902) and The Turn of the Balance (1907). His novels usually dealt with political issues.

In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson appointed Whitlock to be the United States ambassador to Belgium. After the beginning of World War I, Whitlock dealt with the German military occupation of Belgium. He also continued to write. His autobiography, Forty Years of It, was published in 1914, and Belgium: A Personal Narrative appeared in 1919. Whitlock remained as ambassador to Belgium until 1922.

Whitlock died in Cannes, France, in 1934. By the time of his death, he had written a total of eighteen books.

See Also


  1. Cayton, Andrew. Ohio: The History of a People. Columbus: The Ohio State University Press, 2002.
  2. Hofstadter, Richard. The Age of Reform: From Bryan to F.D.R. New York, NY: Vintage Books, 1960.  
  3. Hofstadter, Richard. The Progressive Movement, 1900-1915. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1963.  
  4. McGerr, Michael. A Fierce Discontent: The Rise and Fall of the Progressive Movement in America, 1870-1920. New York, NY: Free Press, 2003.