1833-1901. 23rd president of the United States (1889-1893).

Born in Miami, Ohio and graduated from Miami University before becoming a lawyer in Indianapolis. He fought for the Union in the American Civil War and was a brigadier general by the time the war ended. Failed in his efforts to become governor of Indiana in 1876 he then served a term as senator. Despite a difficult personality described by his contemporaries as icy, he secured the Republican presidential nomination on the strength of being an "inoffensive war hero" which was becoming a highly electable commodity. Harrison was elected president in 1888 via the electoral college, although his opponent, the incumbent Grover Cleveland received more popular votes.

Harrison dealt with a $100 million government budget surplus by working with the Republican controlled Congress to pass the Dependent and Disability Pension Act, the McKinley Tariff and the Sherman Silver Purchase Act. He also pushed for the passage of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

Harrison favored a strong foreign policy and a naval buildup. He sought bases in the Caribbean, Pacific and the construction of a canal in Central America. With his support, the first Pan-American Conference was held to expand American influence in Latin America. One of his failed efforts was the annexation of Hawaii.

By the end of his term, Harrison's personality and disdain for the subtleties of politics had alienated Republican party leaders. However, he was renominated, but this time lost to Grover Cleveland who then became the first and only president to date to serve two non-consecutive terms.

An old professor I knew referred to Benjamin Harrison as "the meat in the Grover Cleveland sandwich" due to his placement between Cleveland's two terms.

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