Woodrow Wilson Chief Executive

Born in Staunton, Virginia, Wilson spent his early years in Augusta, Georgia, and Columbia, South Carolina. After earning a Ph. D. in political science from Johns Hopkins University, Wilson taught at various schools before becoming the president of Princeton. As governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913, Wilson broke with party bosses and won the passage of several progressive reforms. His success in New Jersey gave him a national reputation as a progressive reformer, and he won the presidential nomination at the 1912 Democratic National Convention. Wilson defeated incumbent Republican President William Howard Taft and Progressive Party nominee Theodore Roosevelt to win the 1912 presidential election, becoming the first Southerner to be elected president since the American Civil War.

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