Charles W. Bryan, Governor

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Charles Wayland Bryan

Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of Silas Lillard Bryan and Mariah Elizabeth Bryan
Brother of William Jennings Bryan "The Great Commoner", U.S. Secretary of State and Mary Elizabeth Bryan

Managed by: Private User
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About Charles W. Bryan, Governor

Charles Wayland Bryan (February 10, 1867 – March 4, 1945) was the younger brother of perennial U.S. Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, with whom he shares the distinction of being the only set of brothers to be nominated for national office by a major party.

Born in 1867 in Salem, Illinois, Bryan attended both the University of Chicago and Illinois College in Jacksonville. He married Elizabeth Louise Brokaw on November 29, 1892. They had three children.


Moving to Lincoln, Nebraska in 1889, Bryan worked as a tobacco broker and an insurance salesman. He also farmed and raised purebred livestock. He was business manager and political secretary for his brother, William Jennings Bryan until William's death in 1925. From 1901 to 1923, he was publisher and associate editor of the "Commoner". Elected to the Lincoln City Commission in 1915 and 1921, he also served as mayor of Lincoln, Nebraska from 1915 to 1917 (again from 1931 to 1935).

Bryan was elected the 20th and 23rd Governor of Nebraska from 1923 to 1925 and again from 1931 to 1935. He was an unsuccessful candidate for governor in 1926, 1928, and 1938. During his tenure, the state's economy flourished, state spending was limited, and taxes were reduced.

Bryan was also notable as the Democratic vice presidential candidate in 1924, where he was picked largely because of his name to serve as running mate to conservative easterner John W. Davis. The ticket was overwhelmingly defeated.


Bryan died in 1945 in Lincoln, Nebraska, and is interred at Wyuka Cemetery in Lincoln.

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Charles W. Bryan, Governor's Timeline

Age 78