Tags: thomas woodrow wilson | life | before | politics

Thomas Woodrow Wilson: 28th President's Life Before Politics

By    |   Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 06:47 PM

Thomas Woodrow Wilson was born in 1856 in Staunton, Virginia, spending his life before politics as the son of a Presbyterian minister and witnessing the aftermath of the Civil War before pursuing a career as a college professor and university president.

During his youth, Wilson’s family moved around the South, living in Augusta, Georgia, Columbia, South Carolina, and Wilmington, North Carolina. He received most of his early education from his father. Poor eyesight and what may have been dyslexia delayed Wilson in learning to read, according to the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.

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In 1873, at age 16, Wilson enrolled in Davidson College in Charlotte, North Carolina, dropping out after one year because of poor health. He returned to schooling in 1875, enrolling in College of New Jersey, which is now Princeton University, where he graduated in 1879.

Wilson entered law school at the University of Virginia in 1879 but dropped out after his second year and continued to study law on his own. He set up a law practice in Atlanta in 1882 and practiced for less than a year before leaving the practice to enroll at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He married Ellen Louise Axson before earning his Ph.D. in political science and history in 1886.

Wilson’s university career began with the publishing of his thesis "Congressional Government." He taught Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania and Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, winning tenure for a study of comparative government, "The State."

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In 1890, he took a professorship in law and political economy at Princeton, where he was voted as the most popular teacher on campus, according to Biography.com.

Wilson became the he university's 13th president in 1902 and set about reforming the institution, altering instruction, reorganizing departments, and redesigning curriculum.

His efforts drew attention from the New Jersey Democratic Party, which tapped him to run for governor in 1910.

He won the presidential election in 1912, defeating William Howard Taft and Theodore Roosevelt, who split the Republican vote.

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Thomas Woodrow Wilson was born in 1856 in Staunton, Virginia, spending his life before politics as the son of a Presbyterian minister and witnessing the aftermath of the Civil War before pursuing a career as a college professor and university president.
thomas woodrow wilson, life, before, politics
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