Philip H Willkie

My grandfather was Wendell Willkie(WLW). I grew up in a political laboratory. From the earliest age my father Philip, the only child of WLW talked endlessly about Joseph McCarthy & Roy Cohen,
who were destroying America. Dad was an anti communist but he was adamant about these bad characters slandering & destroying peoples lives. He thought WLW would have been the chief opponent to McCarthy. WLW died in 1944 at the age of 52. WLW successfully defended William Schneiderman ,the secretary of the California Communist Party against deportation before the Supreme Court in 1942. Afterwards Harry Bridges said “Willkie would rather be right than be President”.
Later in 1942 FDR sent WLW on a world tour to three fronts of the war to North Africa, meeting Charles De Gaulle, Moscow to meet Joseph Stalin & Peking to meet Chiang Kai-Shek. Along the way stopped in Cairo, Teheran, Jerusalem, Beirut, and Bagdad. In ” One World” wrote of the the middle east “these newly awakened people will be followers of some extreme leader….if their new hunger for education and opportunity…is not met by their own rulers.” One World was a vision for world peace, insights are still relevant today 70 years later. FDR & Willkie were allies in the larger scheme of fighting for peace and freedom.

6 comments on “Philip H Willkie

  1. Walter E Hanson

    Hey Phil,
    My dad, Walter Hanson, knew your dad and worked with him and Sen. John Towers in West Texas when Reagan ran against Ford for the Republican Nomination. Same name, my dad went by Wally.

  2. Cathy E Willkie

    Hi, Phil, It’s been many years since you lived in SF and we met there. I am your second cousin on Edward Willkie’s side of the family. Would enjoy hearing from you.

  3. Calgacus

    Interesting comments from the Willkie family. People also might be interested in the chapter in Samuel Rosenman- Working With Roosevelt- Harper & Brothers (1952) where he tells about the plans that Roosevelt & Willkie had to reorganize the US party system, to create a new liberal party, combining the liberal Republicans and the liberal Democrats like Willkie and without the reactionaries in either party.

    This of course had to be kept very secret, Rosenman was the intermediary between the two. But it shows how not only FDR’s too early death was a great tragedy, but so was WLW’s even earlier death. As above, Willkie would have been a powerful force against the postwar reaction and witch-hunting, really aimed at the New Deal liberals in both parties and the New Deal – not the impotent Communists, which had already torn themselves apart when McCarthyism started.

  4. Kevin Burke

    Nice piece, Phil. When is the book on your life coming out? I’m sure your work alone, not to mention the good work of your grandfather, would make for interesting and informative reading. The LGBT community all over this country needs to hear about people like yourself, who did so much of the work over the last four decades, yet stayed out of the spotlight. As is always the case in so many different social causes, there are those like yourself who need to be recognized.

  5. Crystal Summers

    Very interesting! I’ve been trying to find information about your father and his children! I hope to read more soon!

  6. Carol Grigsby

    Philip, I’ve grown fascinated lately by your grandfather’s important role in fighting isolationism during WW2 and the potential that was snuffed out by his untimely death. I’ve searched for One World without finding it in any public library in the Washington DC area, to my surprise. So I just bought it on Amazon and am reading it now.

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