Reference Entry

Hull, Cordell

Irwin Gellman

in American National Biography Online

Published in print January 1999 | ISBN: 9780195082098
Published online February 2000 | e-ISBN: 9780198606697 | DOI:
Hull, Cordell

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Hull, Cordell (02 October 1871–23 July 1955), secretary of state, congressman, and lawyer, was born near Byrdstown, Tennessee, the son of William Hull, a businessman, and Elizabeth Riley. Hull was raised in middle Tennessee near the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains, along with four other brothers. His mother taught him to read and write so that he could understand the Bible while attending Baptist church services, and he furthered his education by going to local schools. In 1891 he entered Cumberland Law School; after being admitted to the state bar the next year, he practiced law until 1903, when he was appointed circuit judge. From that time on, he was nicknamed “judge,” and while that was his profession, his avocation was Democratic politics. He gave his first partisan speech at seventeen, served as chairman of the Democratic county executive committee two years later, and went to the state legislature at twenty-two. Only a captaincy in the Spanish-American War interrupted his rising political star....

Reference Entry.  4398 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

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