Historical | Princeton (1856-1924)
Woodrow Wilson occupies a secure position within the pantheon of great American politics and diplomacy. He was born in Staunton, Virginia in 1856. He pursued his interest in history and politics at the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University), from which he graduated in 1879. He earned his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. Wilson’s renown as a scholar and brilliant teacher at Princeton led to the presidency of his alma mater in 1902. He was elected Governor of New Jersey in 1910, and the progressive measures he championed catapulted him to national fame and to his election as President in 1912. In his first term, President Wilson enacted sweeping legislation, including creation of the Federal Reserve System and Federal Trade Commission, restrictions on child labor, and other major progressive reforms. Reelected in 1916, Wilson carved out a monumental legacy in the realm of foreign policy. He mobilized the country and successfully led the U.S. as a war-time President. His efforts to end the war and his attempt to form the League of Nations earned him the Nobel Peace Prize, but the U.S. did not join the League. President Wilson stands as a seminal figure in the history of American and world politics and remains one of the country’s most influential Presidents.