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Underwood, Oscar Wilder

Oscar Wilder Underwood, 1862–1929, American political leader, U.S. Senator from Alabama (1915–27), b. Louisville, Ky. A lawyer in Birmingham, Ala., he became important in Democratic party politics. In the U.S. House of Representatives (1895–96, 1897–1915) he introduced the Underwood Tariff Act of 1913. The act drastically reduced tariff schedules and transferred many articles to the free list but was only in force briefly because of the outbreak (1914) of World War I. In the Senate (1915–27) he was a leading exponent of President Wilson's foreign policy. Underwood was a prominent contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1912 and 1924. He wrote Drifting Sands of Party Politics (1928).

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