BENDER, GEORGE HARRISON (29 Sept. 1896-18 June 1961), was powerful in Republican politics in Cuyahoga Country for many years. Bender was born in Cleveland to Joseph and Anna Sir Bender. After public school education and service in WORLD WAR I, he became advertising manager for the BAILEY CO. in 1920 and later general manager of the Bedell Co. He founded the G. H. Bender Insurance Co. in the 1920s. Bender married Edna B. Eckhardt in June 1920, and they had 2 children, Barbara (Mrs. Ernest B. Stevenson) and Virginia (Mrs. Dorsey Joe Bartlett).
Bender was elected to the Ohio senate in 1920, serving there until 1930. During the 1930s Bender publish 2 Republican party magazines and authored a book promoting Wendell Willkie for president in 1940. He chaired the Republican Central Committee of Cuyahoga County from 1936-54 and controlled Republican affairs there.
After 4 unsuccessful attempts, Bender was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a congressman-at-large in 1938, remaining until defeated in 1948, but returning again in 1950. When Robt. Taft died in 1954, Bender won the election to finish his Senate term, narrowly defeating THOS. A. BURKE†. He lost his Senate seat in 1956 to Frank Lausche. In 1958, Jas. Hoffa hired Bender to chair a commission investigating racketeering in the Teamsters' Union. The Senate Rackets Committee and court-appointed Teamster monitors denounced the Bender commission as a whitewash, and he resigned from the commission in Jan. 1960, returning home to CHAGRIN FALLS TOWNSHIP, where he died at age 64.
Last Modified: 14 Jul 1997 10:58:33 AM
George Bender Papers, Ohio Historical Society.
- Related Article(s)