Eugene V. Debs
Timeline: Red, White, and Red

Eugene V. Debs
Portrait of Eugene V. Debs

25th President of the United States
1913 – 1925

Predecessor William Howard Taft
Successor Post Abolished
Vice President Samuel Gompers

1st President of the People's Republic of America
1925 – 1926

Predecessor Post Established
Successor Norman Thomas
Vice President
Born November 5, 1855
Terre Haute, Indiana, US
Died October 20, 1926 (aged 70)
Washington, D.C., PRA
Spouse Kate Metzel
Political Party Socialist Party
Profession Labor Organizer, Politician

Eugene V. Debs was both the last (28th) President of the United States of America and the first President of the People's Republic of America. TIME Magazine has declared Debs to be the "Person of the Century" in their December 1999 edition. Debs is widely regarded to be one of the most influential people in the entirety of modern human history.

Early Life

Debs was born on November 5, 1855 in Terre Haute, Indiana to French immigrants from Alsace. His father came from a wealthy family, and owned a textiles factory as well as a small butcher's market.

Although Debs did attend public education as a youth, he dropped out of high school at the age of 14 and began to work for Vandalia, a railway company, as a painter and car cleaner, but was later given a higher responsibility as a locomotive fireman.

Debs had joined a union of locomotive firemen (the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen) in 1875, and quickly rose through the ranks, first as an editor of the union's periodical, and eventually becoming the Grand Secretary and Treasurer in 1880.

In 1884, Debs served a term as a Democrat in the Indiana General Assembly. In 1893, Debs resigned from his post at the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, and  then began to organize his own union.

Union Organizing

In June of 1983, Eugene V. Debs organized one of the US' first industrial unions, the American Railway Union, aimed at all people who worked on railways in the nation.

Debs organized a strike in April of 1894 against the Great Northern Railway. The strike was notably successful because of the utter shutdown of the railway. Debs grew to become a follower of the One Big Union philosophy of labor organizing after this victory.

Debs intended to organize his union, by then already one of the largest in the nation at 150,000 members, when he received a telegram in May of 1894 that the workers of the Pullman Palace Car Company had gone on strike and wanted the support of the ARU.

Political Activism

Debs was a co-founder of the Socialist Party of America, and eventually became the first President of the United States to represent that party.

US Presidency

Eugene V. Debs served for an unprecedented three terms as the President of the US, which amounted to twelve years in office. During these twelve years, the US underwent its most profound change, going from a government that tended to favor big business to a government that was effectively run by big labor.

Campaign of 1912

Election of 1912

See Main Article: US Presidential Election of 1912

First Term (1913-1917)

Second Term (1917-1921)

Third Term (1921-1925)

PRA Presidency

Personal Endeavors


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