William Bourke Cockran Edit Profile
Educated in Ireland and France. (Doctor of Laws, St. Francis Xavier College, 1887. Georgetown College, District of Columbia, 1900, Manhattan College, 1902).
Came to the United States, 1871. Taught in private academic. Later principal of a Public school in Westchester County, New York.
Admitted to bar, 1876, soon becoming prominent in New York City politics.
A Democrat, he advocated the repeal of the Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which forbade states from preventing U.S. citizens from voting on account of "race" or "color". He was a teacher in a private academy and principal of a public school in Westchester County, New York. Between terms, he concentrated on his New York law practice.
He was a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1884, 1892, 1904, and 1920. At the 1920 convention, he delivered the nominating speech for Al Smith. Cockran publicly broke with his party in 1896 for opposing the Free Silver platform of Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan.
Cockran campaigned instead for Republican presidential candidate William McKinley, which was considered a major factor in McKinley's victory. In 1900, Cockran returned to the Democratic Party, supporting Bryan's second presidential campaign. He served his final years, 1921–1923, as a congressman, dying in Washington, D.C.
He is buried in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne, New York. Years later, as British prime minister, Churchill credited Cockran as his first political mentor and the chief role model for his own success as an orator.
Member 50th Congress (1887-1889) and 52d and 53d Congresses (1891-1895), as Democrat. Member 67th Congress (1921-1923), 16th New York Dist.
Married Anne, d.