Levitan, Solomon

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LEVITAN, SOLOMON (1862–1940), U.S. merchant, banker, and politician. Levitan, who was born in Taurrogen near Tilsit, East Prussia, immigrated to the United States in 1880. He settled in New Glarus, Wisconsin, a year later and went into business as a pack peddler and horse-and-wagon dealer. Levitan opened his first store in New Glarus in 1887 and subsequently became justice of the peace there. After moving to Madison in 1905, Levitan became a dry-goods merchant, bank officer (1909–40), and investment executive. An active campaigner for Robert M. La Follette, Sr., Republican nominee for governor, Levitan was a La Follette delegate in several Republican state conventions, a Republican presidential elector in 1912, and a delegate to the Republican national conventions of 1920 and 1924. He left the organization with La Follette when the latter formed the Progressive Party. After two unsuccessful attempts, he was elected state treasurer in 1922. Reelected several times, he served six terms (1922–32, 1936–38).

[Louis J. Swichkow]