George W. Peck

George W. Peck books and biography

George Wilbur Peck

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George Wilbur Peck (September 28, 1840 – April 16, 1916) was an American writer and politician who served as the 17th governor of Wisconsin.

Peck was born in Henderson, New York, in 1840 and moved to Wisconsin as a toddler in 1843. In Wisconsin, he was a newspaper publisher who founded newspapers in Ripon and La Crosse. His La Crosse newspaper, The Sun, was founded in 1874. In 1878 Peck moved the newspaper to Milwaukee and renamed it Peck's Sun. The weekly newspaper contained humorous writings of Peck's including his famous "Peck's Bad Boy" stories.

In the spring of 1890 Peck ran for mayor of Milwaukee. A Democrat, Peck was elected in spite of a Republican majority in the city. The state's Democratic leaders took notice and made Peck the party's nominee for the 1890 gubernatorial race. Peck won the election, beating the incumbent William Hoard, and resigned as Milwaukee's mayor on November 11, 1890. He was reelected as governor in 1892, defeating Republican John C. Spooner, but lost a third term to William Upham in 1894. He ran again in 1904 but lost to the incumbent Robert M. La Follette, Sr.

Peck died in 1916 at age 75 due to what was known as Bright's disease and was buried at Forest Home Cemetery. After Peck's death, his "Peck's Bad Boy" writings became the basis for several films.

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