William Jennings Bryan was a candidate within a national political party who ran unsuccessfully three times for President of U.S. twice in the 19th century and once in the 20th century. Bryan was a Democratic and Populist leader and a magnetic orator. He lost his three U.S. Presidential election attempts in 1896, 1900 and 1908. His enemies regarded him as an ambitious demagogue, but his supporters viewed him as a champion of liberal causes. He was influential in the eventual adoption of such reforms as popular election of senators, income tax, creation of a Department of Labor, Prohibition, and woman suffrage. Throughout his career, his Midwestern roots clearly identified him with agrarian interests, in opposition to those of the urban East.

In the 1896 presidential campaign, Bryan lost to William McKinley. William Jennings Bryan undoubtedly saw this defeat as the climax of his career. He again lost to McKinley in 1900 and to William Howard Taft in 1908. Bryan lived from March 1860 until July 1925. He died at the age of 65 in Dayton, Tennessee.

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