|Text on Button||Wilkie FIRST MILLION|
Golden letters with blue background. "Willkie" is in cursive letters at the top of the button. "FIRST MILLION" are in all capital letters below the name.
|Curl Text||BASTIAN BROS CO ROCHESTER NY. and union bug|
|Year / Decade Made|
Wendell Willkie was the Republican presidential candidate in the 1940 election, with Oregon Senator Charles McNary as his running mate. Prior to the election, Willkie was a corporate lawyer, employed by the Commonwealth Southern Corporation, a company that distributed electricity in eleven states. He later became company president in the mid-1930s.
Before his campaign, Willkie had no experience as an elected public official. He had also never once run for public office before his presidential bid. Once a former Democrat and Wall Street industrialist, Willkie became one of the three major isolationist candidates fighting for the Republican nomination in 1940.
Although Willkie lost the election to incubent Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt, Roosevelt offered him the opportunity to serve as a US representative abroad. Willkie traveled to the Middle East, Britain, and the Soviet Union during the early 1940s. A few years later, in October, 1944, at the age of 52, Willkie suffered a major heart attack and died.