Philip La Follette, Governor

public profile

Is your surname La Follette?

Research the La Follette family

Philip La Follette, Governor's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Philip Fox La Follette

Birthdate: (68)
Birthplace: Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin, United States
Death: August 18, 1965 (68)
Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin, United States
Place of Burial: Forest Hill Cemetery Madison Dane County Wisconsin
Immediate Family:

Son of Gov. Robert La Follette, Sr., US Senate & Congress and Belle Case La Follette
Husband of Isabel Lyman La Follette
Father of Robert La Follette; <private> Sorem (La Follette) and Isabel La Follette Zabriskie
Brother of Fola La Follette; Robert La Follette, Jr., U.S. Senator and Mary Josephine La Follette

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Philip La Follette, Governor

His namesake was Philip Fox, the personal physician of his father Robert M. La Follette.


Philip Fox La Follette (May 8, 1897 – August 18, 1965) was an American politician from the US state of Wisconsin. He served three terms as the Governor of Wisconsin and helped create the Wisconsin Progressive Party.

Early life and family

La Follette was born in Madison, Wisconsin, a member of the politically-prominent La Follette family, the son of Robert M. La Follette, Sr. and Belle Case La Follette, brother of Robert M. La Follette, Jr., brother of Fola La Follette, whose husband was the playwright George Middleton, and uncle of Bronson La Follette.

La Follette served as a second lieutenant in the United States Army Infantry in 1918, during World War I. In 1919 he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Wisconsin, Madison, and in 1922 a Bachelor of Laws degree from University of Wisconsin. He married Isabel Bacon in 1923.

Political career

He was the District attorney for Dane County, Wisconsin from 1925–1927. La Follette was the 27th and 29th Governor of Wisconsin from 1931 to 1933 and 1935 to 1939. He was first elected as a progressive member of the Republican Party in the 1930 election.

After a defeat in the 1932 Republican Primary, however, La Follette along with his brother, Robert M. La Follette, Jr. created the Wisconsin Progressive Party and both ran successfully under its ticket in 1934. The gregarious governor was known as "Phil" on the streets of Madison during his governorship, much as his father had been known as simply "Bob." His governorship saw the implementation of many of the progressive measures of the New Deal, with La Follette being responsible for the implementation of some of them on the state level before the Roosevelt Administration could do so on the national level.

La Follette was defeated seeking reelection as governor in 1938. That spring he had attempted to launch the National Progressive Party of America in an attempt to create a national third party (as the La Follettes had helped create in Wisconsin) in anticipation of Franklin D. Roosevelt not seeking a third term for President. The plan for a new national Progressive Party never materialized at the time, and Roosevelt soon decided to defy convention and precedent and seek a third term; La Follette never again sought public office for himself.

[edit] Later life and career

Much as his father opposed US entry into World War I, Phil La Follette strongly opposed, like most other Americans, US entry into World War II. Once war was declared, he abandoned his opposition and joined the U.S. Army, serving on the staff of General Douglas MacArthur. He would later spearhead a slate of delegates supporting MacArthur in the 1948 presidential campaign.

From 1955 to 1959, La Follette served as president of Hazeltine Electronics, and made his home in Douglaston, New York. He later returned to Wisconsin, wrote his autobiography, and was active in the State Historical Society of Wisconsin.

He died in Madison, Wisconsin on August 18, 1965 at age 68.

view all

Philip La Follette, Governor's Timeline

May 8, 1897
Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin, United States
Age 28
Age 38
August 18, 1965
Age 68
Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin, United States
Forest Hill Cemetery Madison Dane County Wisconsin