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Al Smith Biography »
Alfred Emanuel "Al" Smith (December 30, 1873 – October 4, 1944) was an American statesman who was elected Governor of New York four times and was the Democratic U.S. presidential candidate in 1928. He was the foremost urban leader of the efficiency-oriented Progressive Movement and was noted for achieving a wide range of reforms as governor in the 1920s. He was also linked to the notorious Tammany Hall machine that controlled Manhattan politics; was a strong opponent of prohibition and was the first Roman Catholic nominee for President. His candidacy mobilized Catholic votes--especailly women who previously had not voted. It also mobilized the anti-Catholic vote, which was strongest in the South.