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Whitelaw Reid (October 27, 1837 – December 15, 1912) was a U.S. politician and newspaper editor, as well as the author of a popular history of Ohio in the Civil War.

Early life[]

Born on a farm near Xenia, Ohio, Reid attended Xenia Academy and went on to graduate from Miami University with honors in 1856.[1] At Miami, he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon (Kappa chapter), and lobbied for the expulsion of the six members who ultimately founded Sigma Chi.


He was the longtime editor of the New York Tribune and close friend of Horace Greeley. He was a leader of the Liberal Republican movement in 1872.

File:Schurz Reid Duet.jpg

Reid and Carl Schurz tune up for the 1876 presidential campaign in this cartoon by Thomas Nast

A Republican, he had an illustrious career as a diplomat, serving as United States Ambassador to France from 1889 to 1892, and again as U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James's from 1905 to 1912. In 1892, he was the Republican vice presidential nominee replacing Levi P. Morton on a ticket headed by incumbent President Benjamin Harrison. The Harrison-Reid ticket received the electoral votes of sixteen states (145 EV) finishing second among the three tickets that captured electoral votes. Reid was given a spot on the Peace Commission following the Spanish-American War. Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York of Westchester County is located on his former estate.


After his death whilst serving as the ambassador to Britain, his body was returned to New York aboard HMS Natal. He is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, New York.


  • His family summered on Upper St. Regis Lake in the Adirondacks.
  • In 1892, Benjamin Harrison and Whitelaw Reid formed the only U.S. presidential ticket composed of candidates that were also alumni of the same university, Miami University. Both men had buildings on Miami's campus named for them. Reid Hall was a dormitory, while Harrison Hall still houses the Political Science department. Reid Hall was demolished in 2006 to make way for a new business school building on Miami University's campus.
  • He gave a highly commendatory eulogy to Benjamin Piatt Runkle—a fellow DKE before founding Sigma Chi— after seeing Runkle wounded at the Battle of Shiloh and mistakenly thinking him dead. Runkle returned the favor upon Reid's death.
  • Two of his grandsons are Whitelaw "Whitey" Reid and Ogden R. Reid.
  • His great, great grandson, also named Whitelaw, covers the University of Virginia men's basketball team for The Daily Progress in Charlottesville, Virginia.


  1. American Authors 1600-1900: A Biographical Dictionary of American Literature (H. W. Wilson Co., New York, 1938)

External links[]

Template:Start box |- ! colspan="3" style="background: #FACEFF;" | Diplomatic posts

|- style="text-align: center;" |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
Robert M. McLane |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|United States Ambassador to France
1889 – 1892 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
T. Jefferson Coolidge |- |- style="text-align: center;" |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
Joseph H. Choate |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom
1905 – 1912 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
Walter Hines Page |- Template:S-ppo |- style="text-align: center;" |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
Levi P. Morton |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|Republican Party vice presidential candidate
1892 (lost) |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
Garret Hobart |- |} Template:USRepVicePresNominees Template:US Ambassadors to the UK

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