JOHN W. BRICKER was born in Madison County, Ohio and received both his bachelor’s and law degrees from Ohio State University. He was deemed ineligible for military duty but entered the Army Chaplain Corps by special ordination of the Christian Church, reaching the rank of First Lieutenant. He served as Solicitor of Grandview Heights, Ohio from 1921 to 1929 and during the same period served by appointment as Special Counsel to the Attorney General of Ohio. An unsuccessful candidate for state Attorney General in 1927, he went on to serve on the Public Utilities Commission for three years. In 1932 he mounted another campaign for Attorney General, winning as a Republican in what was otherwise a sweep for Democrats into elective offices. While serving his second term as Attorney General he became the Republican nominee for governor in 1936 but was defeated by incumbent Democrat Martin L. Davey in the general election. In 1938, however, he succeeded in his campaign for the first of what became three consecutive terms as governor of Ohio. When Bricker assumed the governorship, he inherited a $40 million deficit, in response to which he imposed strict measures that led by the end of his governorship to a surplus in excess of $90 million. Bricker also oversaw preparations for World War II. He was selected as the Republican Vice Presidential candidate in 1944 and returned to the practice of law after Franklin Roosevelt’s unprecedented election to a fourth term.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. F. New York: James T. White & Company.
The Ohio Historical Center