Waardenburg, S(tephan) L(ucien) J(oseph) (according to other sources, Simon Lodewijk Johan Waardenburg) (b. Feb. 21, 1900, Buitenzorg, Netherlands East Indies [now Bogor, Jawa Barat, Indonesia] - d. April 4, 1975, The Hague, Netherlands), governor of Netherlands New Guinea (1950-53).
Wachtmeister af Johannishus, Carl greve (b. April 21, 1823, Stockholm, Sweden - d. Oct. 14, 1871, Stockholm), prime minister for foreign affairs of Sweden (1868-71). He was also minister to Denmark (1858-61, 1865-68), the Ottoman Empire (1861), and the United Kingdom (1861-65).
Wachtmeister af Johannishus, (Axel) Fredrik (Claesson) greve (b. Feb. 10, 1855, Tistad, Sweden - d. Sept. 6, 1919), foreign minister of Sweden (1905).
Wachuku, Jaja Anucha (b. 1918, Nbawsi [now in Abia state], Nigeria - d. Nov. 7, 1996, Enugu, Nigeria), Nigerian politician. He was elected into the assembly of the erstwhile Eastern Region in 1951 and into the federal house of representatives in 1952; he became speaker of the house when the country gained independence in 1960. He served as federal minister of economic development (1960-61), as Nigeria's acting permanent representative to the United Nations (1961), and as chairman of the UN Conciliation Commission in Congo (1959). He was Nigeria's minister of foreign affairs and commonwealth relations from 1961 to 1965 and aviation minister from 1965 to 1966. A flamboyant politician, Wachukwu in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in May 1996 identified "hypocrisy, opportunism, and cowardice" as the "three diseases" plaguing the Nigerian polity. He likened politics in the country to a market place where "buying and selling" flourished.
Waddell, Sir Alexander (Nicol Anton) (b. Nov. 8, 1913 - d. June 14, 1999, Cirencester, England), governor of Sarawak (1960-63); knighted 1959.
Waddington (of Read in the County of Lancashire), David (Charles) Waddington, Baron (b. Aug. 2, 1929), British home secretary (1989-90) and lord privy seal (1990-92) and governor of Bermuda (1992-97). He was given a life peerage in 1990.
Waddington, William Henry (b. Dec. 11, 1826, Saint-Rémy-sur-Avre, France - d. Jan. 12, 1894, Paris, France), foreign minister (1877-79) and prime minister (1879) of France. He was also minister of public instruction (1873, 1876-77) and ambassador to the United Kingdom (1883-93).
Wade, Abdoulaye (b. May 29, 1926, Kébémer, Senegal), president of Senegal (2000-12). In 1974 he founded the Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS). He led the push for multiparty politics and was the populist thorn in the side of the ruling Socialist Party for decades. He first ran in 1978 against Pres. Léopold Sédar Senghor and challenged and lost to Abdou Diouf, Senghor's successor, on three occasions (1983, 1988, 1993). The last time, he won 32% of the vote against Diouf's 58.4%. Wade was an economic liberal, advocating faster privatization and general deregulation as a way of lifting the country's poverty. He was also a pan-Africanist, a disciple of the late Ghanaian leader Kwame Nkrumah, and proud of his support for liberation movements from Algeria to Mozambique. Wade was enticed into government by Diouf on two occasions (1991-92, 1995-98), but he and his party withdrew both times, saying their ministerial role was incompatible with a need to criticize the ruling Socialist Party. Diouf was prepared to use the stick as well as the carrot approach with the opposition leader. When riots broke out in the aftermath of the contested 1988 presidential election, Wade was thrown in jail. Found guilty of inciting insurrection, he was given a one-year suspended sentence. Diouf announced an amnesty but Wade lost his seat in the National Assembly. In the late 1990s he spent much time outside Senegal, mostly in France, laying him open to criticism, but at 73, the veteran opposition leader was successful in his fifth bid for the presidency in 2000. In the first round Diouf won 41.3% of the vote and Wade 31%. Backed by eight other opposition parties, Wade won 58.5% in the runoff. In 2001-03 he was chairman of the Economic Community of West African States. He was reelected president in 2007 but lost to Macky Sall in 2012.
Waena, Sir Nathaniel (Rahumaea) (b. Nov. 1, 1945), governor-general of the Solomon Islands (2004-09); knighted 2004. He was also minister of provincial government and rural development (1989-90, 2000-01) and national reconciliation and peace (2001-04).
Waffa-Ogoo, Susan (b. Oct. 4, 1960, Bathurst [now Banjul], Gambia), foreign minister of The Gambia (2012-13). She was also minister of information and tourism (1994-95), tourism and culture (1995-2000, 2004-06), fisheries, natural resources, and the environment (2000-04), and trade, industry, and employment (2006-07), high commissioner to India (2008), and permanent representative to the United Nations (2008-12).
Wagener, Otto (Wilhelm Heinrich) (b. April 29, 1888, Durlach [now part of Karlsruhe], Germany - d. Aug. 9, 1971, Chieming, West Germany), German commander of the Dodecanese Islands (1944-45).
Wagner, Herman François Gerardus (b. Nov. 11, 1822, Maastricht, Netherlands - d. May 11, 1904, The Hague, Netherlands), administrator of Bonaire (1859-65) and Sint Maarten (1866-70) and governor of Curaçao (1870-77).
Wagner, Johann (b. April 27, 1897, Stegersbach, Hungary [now in Burgenland, Austria] - d. Dec. 27, 1979, Stegersbach), Landeshauptmann of Burgenland (1956-61).
Wagner, Leopold (b. Dec. 4, 1927, Klagenfurt, Austria - d. Sept. 26, 2008, Klagenfurt), Landeshauptmann of Kärnten (1974-88).
Wagner, Robert F(erdinand, Jr.) (b. April 20, 1910, New York City - d. Feb. 12, 1991, New York City), mayor of New York City (1954-65). Son of U.S. Sen. Robert F. Wagner (1877-1953), he was elected to the New York state assembly in 1937, resigning after Pearl Harbor (1941) to serve as an intelligence officer in the Army Air Corps. Associating himself with the powerful Democratic machine Tammany Hall, which had controlled New York politics for 150 years, he held several appointive posts in the city before being elected Manhattan borough president in 1949 and mayor in 1953. The soft-spoken Wagner was popular for maintaining a 15-cent subway fare, granting collective-bargaining rights to city workers, and commissioning public housing. He also helped to establish the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, engaged in the fight to save Carnegie Hall from demolition, and introduced free Shakespearean productions in Central Park. He opened the political process to allow blacks and Hispanics to emerge in city government, but pursued a policy of suppressing homosexuals and their gathering places. In 1956 he ran for his father's Senate seat but lost. When he was reelected to a second term as mayor in 1957, he won by the largest plurality in the city's history - 923,007 votes - over Republican Robert K. Christenberry. Wagner began distancing himself from Tammany Hall in 1958 and the break was final by the time he sought reelection in 1961, when he defeated Tammany's candidate, Arthur Levitt, and his Republican opponent, Louis J. Lefkowitz, in the general election. Not running again in 1965, he served as ambassador to Spain (1968-69) and presidential envoy to the Vatican (1978-81). He tried to return to City Hall in 1969, but finished second in the Democratic primary.
Wagner Tizón, (Edward) Allan (b. Feb. 7, 1942, Lima, Peru), foreign minister (1985-88, 2002-03) and defense minister (2006-07) of Peru and secretary-general of the Andean Community (2004-06). He was also ambassador to Spain (1988-90), Venezuela (1991-92), the United States (2001-02), and the Netherlands (2008-14).
Waheed Hassan (Manik), Mohamed (b. Jan. 3, 1953), vice president (2008-12) and president (2012-13) of Maldives.
Wahid, Abdurrahman, byname Gus Dur, original name Abdurrahman Addakhil (b. Aug. 4, 1940, Jombang, Netherlands East Indies [now in Jawa Timur, Indonesia] - d. Dec. 30, 2009, Jakarta, Indonesia), president of Indonesia (1999-2001). In 1984 he became general chairman of the world's largest Muslim organization, the 25 million-member Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), founded by his grandfathers and a third Muslim teacher in Jombang in 1926. He then withdrew the NU from the Muslim-based United Development Party to concentrate on social and educational activities. He pointedly distanced himself from the Association of Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals created with the blessings of Pres. Suharto in 1990. In 1991 he assumed the leadership of the Forum Demokrasi (Democracy Forum), which opposed Suharto's cultivation of Islam to suit his personal political ambitions. He also refused to permit the NU to endorse Suharto's bid for another five-year term beginning in 1993. In 1998, after Suharto's autocratic rule had come to an end, Wahid founded the Nation Awakening Party (PKB) which became the fourth largest political group in the new parliament which was elected in June 1999 in the country's first free vote in four decades. A close friend of Megawati Sukarnoputri, who was regarded as the overwhelming favourite to become president, he was always expected to be a political powerbroker behind the scenes. But against the odds, he grew in stature as a presidential candidate in his own right, earning the nomination of a powerful alliance of Muslim parties called the Central Axis. Although he was ailing and nearly blind, he beat Megawati in the vote of the People's Consultative Assembly. His rule was marked by several moves to strengthen democracy, but his decision-making became increasingly erratic. Accused of political incompetence and involvement in two cases of corruption, he was deposed by parliament in 2001.
Wahis, Théophile (Théodore Joseph Antoine), baron (b. April 27, 1844, Menen, West Flanders province, Belgium - d. Jan. 26, 1921, Brussels, Belgium), governor-general of Belgian Congo (1892-96, 1900-12).
Wahlen, Friedrich Traugott (b. April 10, 1899, Gmeis, near Mirchel, Bern canton, Switzerland - d. Nov. 7, 1985, Bern), president of Switzerland (1961). Throughout World War II he worked in the War Food Office as chief of the section of Agricultural Production and Home Economics. He was also a member of the Swiss Council of States (1942-49). He was director of the Agricultural Division of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), located in Washington (1949-50) and in Rome (1951-57), and became the FAO's deputy director general (1957-58). Returning to Switzerland, he held federal office as councillor in charge of justice and police (1959) and of public economy (1960). He was minister of foreign affairs (1961-65) and in 1967 became chairman of a committee set up to revise the Swiss constitution.
Wahlström, Jarmo (Johannes) (b. Dec. 2, 1938, Vaasa, Finland - d. Nov. 19, 2013, Helsinki, Finland), chairman of the Finnish Communist Party (1988-90). He was also minister of communications (1982).
Wahono (b. March 25, 1925, Tulungagung, Netherlands East Indies [now in Jawa Timur, Indonesia] - d. Nov. 8, 2004, Jakarta, Indonesia), governor of Jawa Timur (1983-88). He was also chairman of the People's Consultative Assembly of Indonesia (1992-97).
Wai, Simeon (Philip Gama), governor of Simbu (1998-99). He was also Papua New Guinean minister of communications (1997), communications and information (1997-98), and agriculture and livestock (2001-02).
Waieng, Peter (G.) (b. April 4, 1966 - d. [killed] Aug. 22, 2013, near Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea), defense minister of Papua New Guinea (1998-99). He was also minister of public service (1997-98).
Waigel, Theo(dor) (b. April 22, 1939, Oberrohr, Bayern, Germany), German politician. He entered the Bonn parliament in 1972. In nine years as finance minister (1989-98) under Chancellor Helmut Kohl, he held a thankless job that made him the butt of public annoyance with government policies and a frequent target for political cartoonists. He pursued a clearly monetarist approach to Germany's fiscal problems in the wake of unification. Knowing that Germans would never accept the painful budget cuts seen in Britain under Margaret Thatcher, Waigel sought to control public spending, privatize state-owned industry, and cut the economy loose from state control. One of his main achievements was winning support for an independent European Central Bank, and for a clause in the treaties on European monetary union that commits EMU members to keep strict limits on public deficits and national debt. But the man with the trademark bushy black eyebrows also made costly mistakes. He greatly underestimated the huge cost of unification, which forced west Germans to transfer up to 150 billion German marks ($90 billion) a year to rebuild the dilapidated east. Kohl and Waigel insisted before the 1994 election that they would not raise taxes to pay for unification. Once back in power they raised taxes anyway, infuriating the voters. Waigel also opened himself to charges of using "creative accounting" to qualify Germany for Europe's single currency by using one-off measures such as selling state holdings and rescheduling debt to whip Germany's finances into shape. His image was badly tarnished when he tried and failed to persuade the Bundesbank to revalue its gold reserves to raise cash to pay off Germany's debts.
Waihee, John (David, III) (b. May 19, 1946, Honokaa, Hawaii), governor of Hawaii (1986-94).
Waiko, John (Dademo) (b. Aug. 8, 1944, Tabara, New Guinea [now in Northern province, Papua New Guinea]), foreign minister of Papua New Guinea (2001-02). He was also minister of education (1999-2001).
Wairisal, Albert (b. Oct. 23, 1909, Amet, Nusalaut island, Netherlands East Indies [now in Maluku, Indonesia]), prime minister of the South Moluccas (1950).
Waiyaki, Munyua (b. Dec. 12, 1926, Kikuyu, Kiambu district, Kenya), foreign minister of Kenya (1974-79). He was also minister of energy (1979-80), industry (1980-82), and agriculture (1982-83).
Wajed, Sheikh Hasina, Wajed also spelled Wazed (b. Sept. 28, 1947, Tungipara village, Bengal, India [now in northern Bangladesh]), prime minister of Bangladesh (1996-2001, 2009- ). She is the daughter and political heir of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who led his nation to independence from Pakistan in 1971. She served as a go-between for her father and his student leaders while he was imprisoned by Pakistani rulers and she was herself forced into captivity briefly in 1971 after participating in an uprising during the liberation war. She has her father's grit, but is far more flexible than Mujib, whose reign met a bloody end at the hands of junior military officers who killed him, his wife, and three sons in the presidential palace in 1975. Hasina was then in Germany. She spent six years in self-imposed exile in Germany and other countries. In 1981 she was elected leader of the Awami League, the largest opposition party in Bangladesh, and returned home. In the fight against Hossain Mohammad Ershad's regime, she was periodically placed under house arrest, but was elected to parliament in 1986 and became opposition leader. In December 1990 Ershad resigned in disgrace following demands by Hasina and other opposition forces. Free elections were held in 1991, but Hasina failed to obtain a majority, and her opponent Khaleda Zia, leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, became prime minister. Hasina led the once leftist but now centrist Awami League to victory in 1996. Literacy and agricultural production increased during her government, but Zia defeated her again in 2001. In April 2007 she was charged with murder, being accused of having masterminded the killings of four supporters of a rival political party during street violence in Dhaka in October 2006, but an arrest warrant was suspended. She was arrested, however, on charges of extortion in July 2007, but released in June 2008. She became prime minister again after her party won the December 2008 elections in a landslide.
Waka, Sir Lukas (b. July 1, 1943), governor of West New Britain (1995-97); knighted January 2005.
Wakil, Abdul (b. 1947, Kabul, Afghanistan), finance minister (1980-84) and foreign minister (1986-92) of Afghanistan. He was also ambassador to Vietnam (1984-86).
Walch, Ernst (Joseph) (b. May 12, 1956), foreign minister of Liechtenstein (2001-05). He was also president of the Diet (1993).
Waldeck-Rousseau, (Pierre Marie) René (b. Dec. 2, 1846, Nantes, France - d. Aug. 10, 1904, Corbeil, France), prime minister of France (1899-1902). In 1879 he was elected to represent Rennes in the Chamber of Deputies. A supporter of Léon Gambetta, he was interior minister in Gambetta's cabinet (1881-82) and held the same post under Jules Ferry (1883-85). The celebrated loi Waldeck-Rousseau of 1884 legalized the formation of trade unions, with certain restrictions. In 1885-89 he sat as deputy for Ille-et-Vilaine, but he did not stand for reelection. In 1894, however, he became senator for Loire département, and he was a candidate for the presidency of the republic in 1895, withdrawing in order to allow Félix Faure an absolute majority. He was invited to form a cabinet in June 1899, during the agitation about the proposed retrial of Alfred Dreyfus. His coalition of "republican defense" included Alexandre Millerand, the first Socialist to hold office under the Third Republic. When Dreyfus was again found guilty of treason (September 1899), the government promptly advised Pres. Émile Loubet to grant him a pardon. Another important measure of his administration was the Associations Law of July 1, 1901. This on the one hand abolished all restrictions on the right of association for legal purposes but on the other withheld this freedom from religious congregations, for which specific authorization by statute was required. The elections of April-May 1902 returned a majority favourable to the government, and surprise was felt when he resigned in June. He emerged from retirement in 1903 to protest against the interpretation that Émile Combes was putting on the Associations Law in refusing on principle to authorize any religious associations.
Waldez Góes da Silva, Antônio (b. Oct. 29, 1961, Gurupá, Pará, Brazil), governor of Amapá (2003-10).
Waldheim, Kurt (Josef) (b. Dec. 21, 1918, Sankt Andrä-Wördern, Austria - d. June 14, 2007, Vienna, Austria), secretary-general of the United Nations (1972-81) and president of Austria (1986-92). Conscripted into the German army, he was wounded on the Russian front in December 1941. He later suggested that he spent the rest of the war studying law in Vienna but documents emerged in 1986 showing that he had been a German army staff officer stationed in Yugoslavia and Greece in 1942-44. After the German collapse in 1945, he entered the diplomatic service of restored Austria. In 1948 he moved to Paris to take up the post of first secretary at the Austrian embassy, returning in 1951 to work in the head office of the Foreign Ministry. He led Austria's first delegation to the UN in 1955 (first as an observer, then negotiating Austria's membership) and became Austrian minister (1956-58) and ambassador (1958-60) to Canada, director general for political affairs in the Foreign Ministry (1960-64), ambassador to the UN (1964-68, 1970-71), and foreign minister (1968-70). In April 1971 he was an unsuccessful candidate for Austria's presidency on the conservative People's Party ticket (though he was not a party member). In December he was chosen UN secretary-general. His tenure was characterized as efficient but rather less dynamic than that of some of his predecessors. He was not reelected to a third term in 1981 because of opposition from China. He ran again for president of Austria in 1986, winning 53.9% of the vote, but his victory turned sour following reports that he at least knew of Nazi war crimes while a young lieutenant in the Balkans, even if he did not participate in any. He admitted that he had not been candid about his past but denied any wrongdoing. Nevertheless he became an isolated figure on the international scene and from 1987 was barred from entering the U.S.
Waldow, Wilhelm Hans August von (b. Oct. 31, 1856, Berlin, Prussia [now in Germany] - d. July 27, 1937, Dannenwalde [now part of Gransee], Prussia [now in Brandenburg], Germany), Oberpräsident of Pommern (1911-17).
Walesa, Lech (b. Sept. 29, 1943, Popowo, near Wloclawek, Poland), president of Poland (1990-95). In 1961 he began work as an electrician, from 1967 at the huge Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk. In 1976, as delegate to the official trade union at the shipyard, he drew up a list of workers' grievances, but the management fired him. On Aug. 14, 1980, during protests at the shipyard caused by increased food prices and the dismissal of two other activists, he climbed over the wall and appealed to 17,000 workers to strike. He was then elected head of a strike committee, and three days later its demands were conceded. But he agreed to requests by strikers in other local enterprises to continue his strike out of solidarity; an Interfactory Strike Committee for the Gdansk-Sopot-Gdynia area was formed and a general strike was proclaimed. On August 31 he and First Deputy Premier Mieczyslaw Jagielski signed an agreement that gave the workers the right to form independent trade unions. The Interfactory Strike Committee then was transformed into the Solidarity (Solidarnosc) union. He moved cautiously to avert Soviet intervention, but on Dec. 13, 1981, the government imposed martial law, Solidarity was outlawed, and most of their leaders arrested; Walesa was detained for 11 months. In 1983 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Economic collapse forced the government to negotiate with him again in 1988. The talks led to the restoration of Solidarity and other unions to legal status and other democratic reforms. A Solidarity-led government was formed in 1989, but he declined to serve as premier. In 1990 he won Poland's first direct presidential election by a landslide. He lost popularity during his term as Poles rejected his obstinate style. Seeking reelection in 1995, he was narrowly defeated by Aleksander Kwasniewski. He was again a candidate in 2000 but received only 1% of the vote.
Walewski, Alexandre (Florian Joseph) Colonna, comte (b. May 4, 1810, Walewice, near Warsaw, Duchy of Warsaw [Poland] - d. Sept. 27, 1868, Strasbourg, France), foreign minister of France (1855-60); illegitimate son of Napoléon I. He was also minister to Tuscany (1849-50) and the Two Sicilies (1850-51), ambassador to Spain (1851) and the United Kingdom (1851-55), minister of state (1860-63), and president of the Legislative Corps (1865-67).
Wali, Aminu (b. Aug. 3, 1941, Kano, Nigeria), foreign minister of Nigeria (2014- ). He was permanent representative to the United Nations (2004-07) and ambassador to China (2008-14).
Waligo, Abraham (b. July 28, 1928 - d. March 6, 2000), finance minister (1985) and prime minister (1985-86) of Uganda. He was also minister of works and housing (1979-80) and housing and urban development (1980-85).
Walker, Frank (Harrison) (b. Oct. 17, 1943, Jersey), chief minister of Jersey (2005-08).
Walker, James J(ohn), byname Jimmy Walker (b. June 19, 1881, New York City - d. Nov. 18, 1946, New York City), mayor of New York City (1926-32). He was elected to the state Assembly in 1909 and to the state Senate in 1914, becoming minority leader of that body in 1921. In 1925, with the support of Tammany Hall and Gov. Alfred E. Smith, he became the Democratic mayoralty candidate in the primary elections and then defeated the Republican-Fusion candidate, Frank Waterman. During his first term he initiated the construction of a comprehensive subway system, created a Department of Sanitation, brought all the city's public hospitals together under one head, and improved parks and playgrounds. He was the symbol of New York's sophistication, of the speakeasy era, of free-and-easy political philosophy. He was reelected in 1929, defeating Fiorello H. LaGuardia. The troubles of his administration began soon after the beginning of his second term. In 1931 the New York legislature ordered an investigation of the affairs of the city and widespread corruption was revealed. Walker had difficulty in making convincing explanations of his various business transactions. The investigating committee laid 15 charges against him, the last one concluding that his conduct had in general been such as to render him unfit to continue in office. Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered a hearing, but the proceedings were brought to a close by Walker's sudden resignation on Sept. 1, 1932. A short time later he left for Europe with his showgirl-mistress and returned only in 1935. He retained the affection of many due to his human qualities. In 1940 Mayor LaGuardia chose him for the post of "impartial chairman" of the National Cloak and Suit Industry, to adjudicate labour disputes.
Walker, Julian (Fortay) (b. 1929), British political agent in the Trucial States (1971). He was also British ambassador to Yemen (Sana) (1979-84) and Qatar (1984-87).
Walker, Meriwether L(ewis) (b. Sept. 30, 1869, Lynchburg, Va. - d. July 29, 1947, Vineyard Haven, Mass.), governor of the Panama Canal Zone (1924-28). He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1893 and from the U.S. Engineering School in 1896. He was director of the Army Field Engineering School in 1912-14 and professor of practical military engineering at West Point in 1914-16. He was chief engineer of punitive expeditions into Mexico in 1916-17, went to France as chief engineer of American Expeditionary Forces from in 1918-19, and then continued as instructor of the Army War College in 1919-20. He was promoted to colonel on July 1, 1920. He was chief Panama Canal maintenance engineer from 1921 to 1924, before his appointment as governor of the Panama Canal Zone. Of all governors of the canal, he was probably the most aloof. He was "all business," his men declared. Like George Washington Goethals, he was a man of prodigious memory, his mind retaining the small details that ordinarily might be forgotten. Canal traffic was growing in volume during his tenure, and he foresaw the need of future expansion. His was the foresight to see the need of an additional water reservoir somewhere in the hills of the upper Chagres. In fact, in 1925 he took Illinois congressman Martin B. Madden into the jungles of Alhajuela and pointed out possible sites for the dam. When the dam was built, it was named in honour of Madden for his support to the project. Walker meanwhile worked for the deepening of the Pacific sea-lane and Balboa harbour. Initial steps were taken to control flooding of the Chagres River and an auxiliary power plant was constructed at Miraflores. A general clean-up dredging program in Gaillard Cut also provided for handling of increasing traffic.
Walker, Sir Miles (Rawstron) (b. Nov. 13, 1940, Isle of Man), chief minister of the Isle of Man (1986-96); knighted 1996.
Walker, Olene (Smith), née Smith (b. Nov. 15, 1930, Ogden, Utah), governor of Utah (2003-05). Her first foray into politics came in 1980, when she won election as one of just six women in the 104-member Utah House of Representatives. She ascended to Republican House leadership before her defeat in a 1988 reelection bid. During her decade-long tenure as lieutenant governor (1993-2003), she concentrated on efforts to reform welfare, broaden health insurance, and increase youth literacy. When Gov. Mike Leavitt stepped down to become administrator of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, Walker succeeded him as governor. She indicated that her main priorities would be education reform, children's health issues, and affordable housing. She also spearheaded an attempt to modernize Utah's election equipment, replacing punch-card ballot machines with a computerized system. At the Republican convention in May 2004 she finished fourth in an eight-way contest for the nomination for governor and was taken out of the running.
Walker, Peter (Brett) (b. Sept. 29, 1949), lieutenant governor of Guernsey (2011- ).
Walker, Robert J(ohn) (full name also appearing as Robert James Walker) (b. July 19, 1801, Northumberland, Pa. - d. Nov. 11, 1869, Washington, D.C.), U.S. secretary of the treasury (1845-49) and governor of Kansas (1857).
Walker, Sam S(ims) (b. July 31, 1925, West Point, N.Y.), U.S. city commandant of Berlin (1974-75).
Walker, Scott (Kevin) (b. Nov. 2, 1967, Colorado Springs, Colo.), governor of Wisconsin (2011- ). In July 2015 he entered the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
Walker, William1 (b. May 8, 1824, Nashville, Tenn. - d. Sept. 12, 1860, Trujillo, Honduras), president of a rival government of Nicaragua (1856-57). He moved to California in 1850 and dabbled in politics. His filibustering career began in October 1853 when he commanded an expedition which landed at La Paz, Mexico. He proclaimed Baja California an independent republic, then "annexed" Sonora, but Mexican resistance forced him to retreat to the U.S. in May 1854, where he stood trial for violating the neutrality laws but was acquitted. In May 1855 he sailed for Nicaragua, having been invited by a local political faction. Landing with 56 followers, he suffered initial reverses, but subsequent military success made him virtual master of the country by October. His aims were difficult to fathom - real interest in the betterment of Central America seems to have been combined with restless love of adventure and ambition for power. Cornelius K. Garrison and Charles Morgan, officers of the Accessory Transit Company, which operated steamers and stages across Nicaragua, aided him financially, and Walker in return seized the company's property on the pretext of a charter violation and turned it over to Garrison and Morgan, who tried to gain control of the company from Cornelius Vanderbilt. Walker proclaimed himself president on July 12, 1856. He maintained himself against Central American forces aided by Vanderbilt until finally, to avoid capture, he surrendered to the U.S. Navy on May 1, 1857, and returned to the U.S. In November he sailed on another expedition but was arrested by the U.S. Navy and returned again. He made a last descent on Central America in August 1860. Landing in Honduras, from where he wanted to reach Nicaragua, he was taken prisoner by the British navy and turned over to Honduran authorities, who executed him by firing squad.
1 He decreed that English was an official language of Nicaragua, together with Spanish; however he did sign several documents Guillermo Walker (in full this would be Guillermo Walker Norvell).
Walker, William (Graham) (b. June 1, 1935, Kearney, N.J.), UN administrator of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem (1997-98).
Walker of Worcester, Peter (Edward) Walker, Baron (b. March 25, 1932, Harrow, Middlesex, England - d. June 23, 2010, Worcester, England), British politician. He was MP for Worcester from 1961 to 1992 and served as environment secretary (1970-72), trade and industry secretary (1972-74), agriculture minister (1979-83), energy secretary (1983-87), and Welsh secretary (1987-90). He was made a life peer in 1992.
Walker Prieto, Ignacio (b. Jan. 7, 1956), foreign minister of Chile (2004-06).
Wall, Brad(ley John) (b. Nov. 24, 1965, Swift Current, Sask.), premier of Saskatchewan (2007- ).
Wallace, George (W., Jr.), foreign minister of Liberia (2006-07).
Wallace, George C(orley) (b. Aug. 25, 1919, Clio, Ala. - d. Sept. 13, 1998, Montgomery, Ala.), governor of Alabama (1963-67, 1971-79, 1983-87). In 1946, he was elected to the first of two terms in the state legislature. He first attracted national attention by leading the fight against a strong civil rights plank at the 1948 Democratic National Convention. In 1958, he entered the governor's race and was defeated in the primary by John Patterson, who ran strong on the issue of racial segregation and accepted the support of the Ku Klux Klan. Wallace vowed never to be "out-segged" again. In the 1962 primary, he defeated Ryan DeGraffenried, and in the general election, he polled the largest vote ever given a gubernatorial candidate in Alabama up to that time. In his inaugural speech, written by Klansman Asa Carter, he proclaimed: "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!" In his dramatic "stand in the schoolhouse door," he blocked the enrollment of two black students at the University of Alabama (June 1963); declaring that the federal government was usurping state authority in education, he yielded only to the federalized National Guard. In 1968 he was the presidential candidate of the American Independent Party. With thinly veiled racist allusions, he snared 13% of the popular vote and five states with 46 electoral votes. In 1972, he again entered the presidential primaries, this time within the Democratic Party. On May 15, while campaigning in Maryland, he was felled by would-be assassin Arthur Bremer. He was left permanently paralyzed below the waist. He again campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1976, dropping out after losing to fellow Southerner Jimmy Carter in early primaries. Before his final term as governor, he renounced his segregationist ideology and courted the black vote.
Wallace, Henry A(gard) (b. Oct. 7, 1888, Adair county, Iowa - d. Nov. 18, 1965, Danbury, Conn.), vice president of the United States (1941-45); son of Henry C. Wallace. Formerly a Republican, he shifted to the Democratic Party in 1928. In 1932 he helped to swing conservative Iowa for Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal. Wallace, who was editor of a farming magazine and had developed high-yielding strains of corn, became secretary of agriculture (1933-40) in the administration of President Roosevelt. As such he helped formulate and administer the New Deal legislation (especially the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933) passed to conserve soil, store reserves, control production, and raise farm prices. As vice president during Roosevelt's third term, he was sent on goodwill tours to Latin America and the Far East. With the U.S. entrance into World War II, he assumed additional emergency duties, becoming head of the Board of Economic Warfare (1942-43). Conservatives in the Democratic Party opposed his renomination to the vice presidency in 1944, and he was superseded by Harry S. Truman. Wallace became secretary of commerce in 1945 and continued in the post under President Truman. But his criticisms of Truman's "get-tough" Cold War policy toward the Soviet Union led to his leaving the cabinet in 1946. He became editor of the liberal weekly The New Republic (1946-47) and then helped form the new left-wing Progressive Party. As its candidate in the 1948 presidential election, he campaigned for closer cooperation with the Soviet Union, United Nations administration of all foreign aid, and reduction of armaments. He received more than 1,000,000 popular votes but none in the Electoral College. In 1950 he broke with the Progressives and endorsed the U.S.-led intervention in Korea.
Wallace, Henry C(antwell) (b. May 11, 1866, Rock Island, Ill. - d. Oct. 25, 1924, Washington, D.C.), U.S. secretary of agriculture (1921-24).
Wallace, Jesse Rink (b. July 17, 1899, Beardstown, Ill. - d. Jan. 29, 1961, Milwaukee, Wis.), acting governor of American Samoa (1940).
Wallace, Lurleen (Burns), née Burns (b. Sept. 19, 1926, Tuscaloosa, Ala. - d. May 7, 1968, Montgomery, Ala.), governor of Alabama (1967-68); wife of George C. Wallace. She was Alabama's first, and the nation's third, female governor.
Wallace, Reginald James (b. Aug. 16, 1919, Coventry, Warwickshire, England - d. Dec. 10, 2012, Gibraltar), governor of the Gilbert Islands (1978-79).
Wallace, Ron(ald) (b. Aug. 5, 1916, Halifax, N.S. - d. May 20, 2008, Halifax), mayor of Halifax (1980-91).
Wallace, Walter Wilkinson (b. Sept. 23, 1923 - d. Oct. 14, 2005, Chichester, England), governor of the British Virgin Islands (1974-78).
Wallace of Tankerness (of Tankerness in Orkney), Jim Wallace, Baron, original name James Robert Wallace (b. Aug. 25, 1954, Annan, Dumfriesshire, Scotland), deputy first minister (1999-2005) and acting first minister (2000, 2001) of Scotland. He was created a life peer in 2007.
Wallenberg, Knut Agathon (b. May 19, 1853, Stockholm, Sweden - d. June 1, 1938, Stockholm), foreign minister of Sweden (1914-17).
Wallimann, Hans (b. Feb. 22, 1953), Landammann of Obwalden (2006-07, 2010-11, 2014-15).
Wallström, Margot (Elisabeth) (b. Sept. 28, 1954, Skellefteå, Sweden), foreign minister of Sweden (2014- ). She was also minister for ecclesiastical, equality, and youth affairs (1988-91), cultural affairs (1994-96), and health and social affairs (1996-98) and EU commissioner for environment (1999-2004) and institutional relations and communication strategy (2004-10).
Walpole, Sir Robert: see Orford, Robert Walpole, Earl of.
Walsh, Owen (Edward John) (b. 1963?), administrator of Norfolk Island (2007-12).
Walsh, Peter (Alexander) (b. March 11, 1935, Kellerberrin, W.Aus. - d. April 10, 2015, Perth, W.Aus.), finance minister of Australia (1984-90). He was also minister of resources and energy (1983-84).
Walt, Barend Johannes van der (b. June 28, 1914, Steynsburg, South Africa), administrator of South West Africa (1971-77). He was also South African ambassador to Canada (1968-70) and Portugal (1970-71).
Walter, Sir George (Herbert) (b. Sept. 8, 1928 - d. March 4, 2008, St. John's, Antigua and Barbuda), premier of Antigua (1971-76). In 1960 he became general secretary of the Antigua Trades & Labour Union (ATLU), serving until 1967, when he was fired as Vere Cornwall Bird accused him of trying to topple the government. Demands for a new union led to the foundation of the Antigua Workers' Union (AWU), with Walter as their general secretary; 75% of the ATLU moved over to the new union. In 1968 a new party, the Progressive Labour Movement (PLM), was also formed out of the AWU. Walter resigned his union post and became political leader of the PLM. In 1971, he led it to victory in elections, defeating Bird, four years after the colony became a British dependency with domestic autonomy. As premier, he campaigned for full independence and opposed a British proposal to make Antigua and Barbuda an island federation. The self-governing territory's economy struggled during his tenure, especially after his government shut down the islands' sugar industry, and he was ousted by Bird in 1976 elections. Later he was convicted of illegally selling metal to the government while in office and imprisoned for three months as his rival's government pursued a case against him. The conviction was later ruled groundless and overturned by the West Indies Court of Appeal. After the 1982 elections, he gave up politics. He was knighted in 2001.
Walter, Sir Harold (Edward) (b. April 17, 1920 - d. July 25, 1992), foreign minister of Mauritius (1976-82); knighted 1972.
Walter, Neil (Douglas) (b. Dec. 11, 1942, Stratford, New Zealand), administrator of Tokelau (1988-90, 2003-06). He was also New Zealand's ambassador to Indonesia (1990-94) and Japan (1998-99).
Walters, Vernon A(nthony) (b. Jan. 3, 1917, New York City - d. Feb. 10, 2002, West Palm Beach, Fla.), U.S. government official. He enlisted in the U.S. Army as a private in 1941, and in 1942, because of his language skills, he was accepted in Officers Candidate School. During the 1943-44 military campaign in Italy, he was promoted to major. He served as an aide to Lieut.Gen. Mark W. Clark and as liaison to a Brazilian unit under Clark's command. In 1945-48 he was assistant military attaché to Brazil. Assigned to the Paris headquarters of NATO in 1951, he was reassigned to a NATO post in Washington, D.C., in 1954 after being severely injured in a skiing accident. During his long recovery he served as an interpreter for Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower at Geneva (1955) and for Vice Pres. Richard M. Nixon on his 1958 tour of South America. During the Nixon presidency, Walters made the arrangements for Henry Kissinger's many secret trips to Paris during negotiations to end the Vietnam war. Between 1960 and 1971 he advanced from colonel to major general. In 1972 he was promoted to lieutenant general and became deputy director of the CIA. At the request of presidential assistant H.R. Haldeman, he advised the FBI not to investigate the burglary that was at the heart of the Watergate affair, on the grounds that it would jeopardize a CIA operation. Later, convinced that Haldeman had deceived him, he refused to interfere with the FBI inquiry. He retired from the Army and resigned from the CIA in 1976. He later denied that he had taken part in any attempts to overthrow governments that posed a threat to the U.S.; he also expressed his belief that Communist governments are more dangerous to U.S interests than are right-wing dictatorships. Later he was ambassador to the UN (1985-89) and to the Federal Republic of Germany (1989-91).
Walubita, (Sipakeli) Keli (b. Dec. 23, 1943, Senanga, Northern Rhodesia [now Zambia]), foreign minister of Zambia (1997-2002). In 2004-10 he was high commissioner to India (also accredited to Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Malaysia, and from 2005 to Singapore).
Waluyo, Bibit (b. Aug. 5, 1949, Klaten, Jawa Tengah, Indonesia), governor of Jawa Tengah (2008-13).
Wamakko, Aliyu (Magatakarda) (b. March 1, 1953, Wamakko [now in Sokoto state], Nigeria), governor of Sokoto (2007-08, 2008-12, 2012-15).
Wamalwa, Michael Kijana (b. Nov. 25, 1944, Kitale, Trans-Nzoia district, Rift Valley province, Kenya - d. Aug. 23, 2003, Hampstead, England), vice president of Kenya (2003). In 1979 he ran for parliament on the ticket of the Kenyan African National Union, the country's sole political party. When Pres. Daniel arap Moi reluctantly agreed to multiparty elections in 1992, Wamalwa joined the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD). He became leader of its splinter FORD-Kenya in 1994 and was a presidential candidate in 1997. In October 2002 he brought his party - at the time the third-largest opposition group - together with some 10 others to form the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC). In January 2003 he became Kenya's eighth vice president since independence after the opposition victory in December 2002 that ended Moi's 24-year rule. He died in office.
Wan Fulin (b. Dec. 21, 1880, Nongan, Jilin, China - d. July 15, 1951, Taichung, Taiwan), military governor (1928) and chairman of the government (1929-31) of Heilongjiang and chairman of the government of Liaoning (1937-45).
Wan Idris bin Ibrahim, Datuk (b. Oct. 13, 1888 - d. Jan. 10, 1973), chief minister of Johor (1955-59).
Wan Li (b. Dec. 30, 1916, Dongping county, Shandong, China - d. July 15, 2015, Beijing, China), Chinese politician. He joined the Communist Party in 1936. As secretary-general of the party's organization in the Hebei-Shandong-Henan Border Region, he organized guerrilla activities against the Japanese during World War II. After the establishment of the People's Republic in 1949, he held several positions in the central government (including minister of urban construction, 1956-58) and in Nanjing. Appointed vice-mayor of Beijing in 1958, he became a key figure in several of the capital's major construction projects, including the Great Hall of the People. Though branded a "bourgeois reactionary" in 1966, he reemerged in 1971 and brought a measure of order to China's disrupted communications systems as railways minister in 1975-76. He was purged a second time in 1976 but was named first party secretary and chairman of the Revolutionary Committee (governor) of Anhui province in 1977. There he dramatically improved agricultural production. He was known for his organizational ability and for the pragmatic and flexible agricultural policies he outlined in his 1978 article "Conscientiously Implement the Party's Economic Policy in the Rural Areas." These contributions and others related to urban development won him wide support. He was elected to the Central Secretariat of the Communist Party and appointed vice-premier in 1980. After his appointment as first vice-premier, which followed an extensive reorganization of the government in May 1982, he played an increasingly important role in streamlining China's inefficient bureaucracy and speeding up its economic modernization. In September 1982 he was elected to the Politburo, becoming the only figure besides Premier Zhao Ziyang to hold full membership in the Secretariat and Politburo as well as a key position in the State Council (cabinet). In 1988-93 he was chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.
Wan Waithayakon (Krommun Naradhip Bongsprabandh), Prince (b. Aug. 25, 1891, Bangkok, Siam [now Thailand] - d. Sept. 5, 1976), foreign minister of Thailand (1952-59) and president of the UN General Assembly (1956-57). He was also Thailand's permanent representative to the UN (1946-50) and ambassador to the United States (1947, 1948-52).
Wanchoo, B(harat) V(ir) (b. Oct. 15, 1951), governor of Goa (2012-14).
Wang Boqun (b. Sept. 6, 1885, Xingyi, Guizhou, China - d. Dec. 20, 1944, Chongqing, China), civil governor of Guizhou (1922).
Wang Chengbin (b. 1874, Xingcheng, Liaoning, China - d. Feb. 15, 1936, Tianjin, China), civil governor (1922-24) and military governor (1923-24) of Zhili.
Wang Chonghui (b. Dec. 1, 1881, Hong Kong - d. March 15, 1958, Taipei, Taiwan), justice minister (1912, 1921-22, 1924), education minister (1922, 1926), acting premier (1922), and foreign minister (1937-41) of China. An eminent jurist and authority on international law, Wang was named chief justice of the Chinese supreme court in 1920, and the next year became his nation's principal delegate to the League of Nations. In 1923-24 and 1930-35 he was a judge of the Permanent Court of International Justice. As chief justice of the supreme court, Wang directed the codification of Chinese law under the Chiang Kai-shek administration.
Wang Daohan (b. March 27, 1915, Anhui province, China - d. Dec. 24, 2005, Shanghai, China), mayor of Shanghai (1981-85). He was president of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait since it was founded in 1991 to oversee Beijing's relations with Taiwan. In 1993, he met his Taiwanese counterpart, Koo Chen-fu, in Singapore in the first high-level talks between the two sides since they split in 1949 amid civil war.
Wang Daxie (b. Nov. 21, 1859, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China - d. Jan. 5, 1929, Beijing, China), education minister (1913-14), transportation minister (1916), foreign minister (1917), and premier and finance minister (1922) of China.
Wang Enmao (b. May 19, 1912, Yongxin, Jiangxi, China - d. April 12, 2001, Beijing, China), Chinese politician. He joined the Communist Party in 1930 and took part in the Red Army's 1934-36 Long March, its epic 12,000-km retreat from Jiangxi to escape Chiang Kai-shek's encircling Nationalist forces. After arriving in northern Shanxi with what was left of Mao Zedong's forces, Wang fought the Japanese during World War II. He led battles against the Nationalists when the Chinese civil war resumed following Japan's defeat. Following the Communist victory in 1949, he held senior party and military posts in the restive, largely Muslim region of Xinjiang (where he was party first secretary in 1952-67) and in northeastern China's Jilin province and the Shenyang military region. Like many veteran revolutionaries, he was persecuted during the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, when Mao turned youths loose on a rampage of rebellion against the established party bureaucracy. He was, however, rehabilitated in 1975 and became deputy head of the Nanjing military region. In 1977-80 he was governor of Jilin and later he was reposted to Xinjiang as party first secretary (1981-85). Before his retirement, he was a vice chairman (1986-93) of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, a top government advisory committee.
Wang Guangya (b. March 1950, Jiangsu, China), Chinese diplomat. He was permanent representative to the United Nations (2003-08).
Wang Hongwen (Pinyin), Wade-Giles Wang Hung-wen (b. January 1934, Jilin province, China - d. Aug. 3, 1992, Beijing, China), Chinese political figure. He was a member of the notorious Gang of Four, who gained great political power during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), which was launched by Chairman Mao Zedong to purge thousands of moderate party officials and intellectuals. Wang was a textile worker before becoming the henchman of Jiang Qing, the ringleader of the Gang of Four and Mao's wife. Wang was apparently recruited because Jiang and Mao recognized that his youth would attract the younger generation. By 1973 he was vice-chairman of the Communist Party and was angling to first replace Premier Zhou Enlai and to then succeed Mao. After the latter's death in 1976, Wang and the other members of the Gang of Four were arrested and expelled from the party. During his 1981 trial he expressed remorse and pleaded guilty to charges that, among other allegations, he had incited armed riots in Shanghai. Wang was sentenced to life imprisonment, but in 1986 he was hospitalized because of a liver ailment that ultimately claimed his life.
Wang Hu (b. May 20, 1865, Ding county, Hebei, China - d. April 25, 1933, Beijing, China), civil governor of Hunan (1913), mayor of Beijing (1920), and civil governor of Jiangsu (1920-22) and Shandong (1922).
Wang Huaiqing (b. 1876, Ningjin, Hebei, China - d. 1953, Tianjin, China), governor of Rehe (1922-24).
Wang Jialie (b. July 10, 1893, Tongzi, Guizhou, China - d. Aug. 11, 1966, Guiyang, Guizhou), chairman of the government of Guizhou (1931-35).
Wang Lingji (b. Sept. 10, 1883, Leshan, Sichuan, China - d. March 17, 1967, Beijing, China), acting military governor of Sichuan (1922) and chairman of the government of Jiangxi (1945-48) and Sichuan (1948-49).
Wang Maogong (b. 1891, Tongshan, Jiangsu, China - d. Dec. 27, 1961, Taipei, Taiwan), chairman of the government of Jiangsu (1944-48).
Wang Min (b. March 1950, Anhui province, China), governor of Jilin (2004-06) and secretary of the Jilin (2006-09) and Liaoning (2009- ) provincial committees of the Communist Party.
Wang Naibin (b. 1870, Xinmin, Liaoning, China - d. 1945), agriculture and commerce minister of China (1920-21, 1924).
Wang Pu (b. 1890, Fuyang, Anhui, China - d. 1958, Tianjin, China), civil governor of Anhui (1925-26).
Wang Qishan (b. July 1948, Tianzhen, Shanxi, China), mayor of Beijing (2003-07).
Wang Shuchang (b. Oct. 3, 1886, Liaozhong county, Liaoning, China - d. April 8, 1960), chairman of the government of Hebei (1930-32).
Wang Shuhan (b. Jan. 7, 1880, Shenyang, Liaoning, China - d. Feb. 8, 1955, Tianjin, China), civil governor of Heilongjiang (1919) and Jilin (1924-27).
Wang Tianpei (b. Jan. 5, 1889, Tianzhu, Guizhou, China - d. Sept. 2, 1927, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China), military governor of Guizhou (1925-26). He was a graduate from the famous Baoding Military College in Hebei (a Chinese West Point in the first two decades of the 20th century) and was a commander at different levels in the Guizhou provincial army. He joined the Kuomintang in 1922 and participated in the war against the northern government from July 1926, serving as the 10th Army commander. In May 1927, his army was defeated by the northern army along the Tianjin-Pukou railway. Months later Chiang Kai-shek had him executed for his alleged pocketing of a portion of soldiers' pay.
Wang Tingzhen (b. 1876, Tianjin, China - d. March 6, 1940, Tianjin), governor of Chahar (1919-20).
Wang Yi (b. October 1953, Beijing, China), foreign minister of China (2013- ). He was ambassador to Japan in 2004-07.
Wang Yinchuan (b. 1878, Jiaozuo, Henan, China - d. 1939, Tianjin, China), civil governor of Henan (1920).
Wang Yingfan (b. April 1942, Tuquan, Inner Mongolia, China), Chinese diplomat. He was ambassador to the Philippines (1988-90) and permanent representative to the United Nations (2000-03).
Wang Yintai (b. July 18, 1888, Linfen, Shanxi, China - d. Feb. 1, 1954, Nanjing, China), foreign minister (1926 [acting], 1927-28) and justice minister (1928) of China.
Wang Yitang (b. Sept. 11, 1877, Hefei, Anhui, China - d. [executed] Sept. 10, 1948, Beijing, China), civil governor of Jilin (1915-16) and military and civil governor of Anhui (1924-25).
Wang Yongquan (b. 1886, Qing county, Zhili [now Hebei] [some sources say Tianjin], China - d. 1942), civil (1922) and military (1923) governor of Fujian.
Wang Zanxu (b. May 9, 1885, Xichong, Sichuan, China - d. 1960), chairman of the government of Sichuan (1938-39).
Wang Zhanyuan (b. Feb. 20, 1861, Guan county, Shandong [some sources say Guantao, Hebei], China - d. Sept. 14, 1934, Tianjin, China), military (1915-21) and civil (1916-19) governor of Hubei.
Wang Zhen (Pinyin), Wade-Giles Wang Chen (b. April 11, 1908, Liuyang county, Hunan, China - d. March 12, 1993, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China), Chinese politician. He joined the Communist Party in 1927. He took part in the Long March (1934-35), and during the war against Japan he served as political commissar of a brigade which in 1941 famously reclaimed an arid wasteland at Nanniwan in Shaanxi province so the troops could feed themselves; Nanniwan became a symbol of socialist self-reliance. He fought in the 1945-49 civil war against the Nationalists and in 1949 established Communist authority in Xinjiang. In 1955 he was promoted to general, and in 1956 he was made a member of the Communist Party Central Committee and became minister of state farms and reclamation. He survived the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) without being purged, served as a vice premier in 1975-80, helped Deng Xiaoping claw his way back to power in 1977-78, and was a member of the Politburo in 1978-85. He took the first moves to unseat the liberal-minded Hu Yaobang as Communist Party general secretary in 1987, which led to Wang being humiliatingly stripped of his post as head of the central party school when the pendulum once again swung back towards the reformists. In his position as vice president of China (1988-93) he remained a powerful spokesman for the People's Liberation Army and for remnant Maoists and Long March veterans. He supported Deng in the military suppression of the student-led 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, even suggesting that "all bourgeois-liberal counterrevolutionaries" be banished to outlying areas in Qinghai and Xinjiang. He was among a small group of elderly comrades who maintained constant pressure on Deng to limit his economic reforms and overtures to the West, but to little effect.
Wang Zhengting (b. Sept. 7, 1882, Fenghua, Zhejiang, China - d. May 21, 1961, Hong Kong), industry and commerce minister (1912), premier (1922-23), foreign minister (1922-23, 1924, 1925-26), justice minister (1923), and finance minister (1924) of China.
Wangchuk, Lyonpo Khandu (b. Nov. 24, 1950, Dop Shari village, Bhutan), prime minister (2001-02, 2006-07) and foreign minister (2003-07) of Bhutan. He was conferred the title of Dasho in 1987 and that of Lyonpo in 1998.
Wanké, Daouda Malam (b. 1954 [other sources say 1946], Yelou, southern Niger - d. Sept. 15, 2004, Niamey, Niger), Niger military leader. In 1990 he was appointed commander of Niger's Artillery Company. In 1996 he became a member of the National Salvation Council, the ruling body formed by Pres. Ibrahim Baré Maïnassara, who had seized power that year toppling an elected government. In early 1997 Wanké was appointed commander of the elite presidential guard. It was in that capacity that he headed the guard unit that shot dead Maïnassara at Niamey airport in a carefully planned assassination in April 1999. Squadron Leader Wanké then was named leader of the all-military National Reconciliation Council. Maïnassara's transformation into an elected president soon after seizing power was never accepted by a militant opposition led by those he overthrew. The opposition challenged his rule at every opportunity and a large section of the highly politicized army did little to hide their sympathy for his opponents. The career history of the two soldiers bore a striking resemblance. Both had received military training in Madagascar and France and gone on to play a key role in a coup. Having participated actively in the coup that overthrew Niger's first president in 1974, Maïnassara was appointed commander of the presidential guard. But unlike Maïnassara, who had also served as ambassador and cabinet minister, Wanké had no experience in civilian administration. Wanké assumed leadership of the new ruling council after armed forces chief Col. Moussa Moumouni Djermakoye, a close associate of Maïnassara, refused the job unless Maïnassara's killers would be arrested; he and other senior officers were retired in the very first decree issued by Wanké's junta. Wanké's transitional regime stood down for a return to democracy which in November 1999 saw Mamadou Tandja elected president.
Wanner, Christian (b. 1947), Landammann of Solothurn (1998, 2003, 2006, 2011).
Wanniarachchi, Dharmadasa (b. 1920? - d. Oct. 5, 2007, Colombo, Sri Lanka), governor of North Western province, Sri Lanka (2004-07).
Wapakhabulo, James (Francis Wambogo) (b. March 23, 1945 - d. March 27, 2004, Kampala, Uganda), foreign minister of Uganda (2001-04). He was also speaker of parliament (1996-98).
Waqa, Baron (Divavesi) (b. Dec. 31, 1959), president and foreign minister of Nauru (2013- ).
Waquet, Alain (b. Nov. 4, 1949, Toulon, France), administrator-superior of Wallis and Futuna (2000-02). He was also prefect of Haute-Marne département (2002-05) and French ambassador to Papua New Guinea (2009-13).
Ward, Sir Deighton (Harcourt) Lisle (b. May 16, 1909 - d. Jan. 9, 1984), governor-general of Barbados (1976-84); knighted 1976.
Ward, Sir Joseph (George), (1st) Baronet (b. April 26, 1856, Melbourne, Victoria [Australia] - d. July 8, 1930, Wellington, New Zealand), prime minister (1906-12, 1928-30), finance minister (1906-12, 1915-19, 1928-30), defence minister (1906-12), and foreign minister (1928-30) of New Zealand. He was also postmaster-general (1891-96, 1899-1912, 1915-19, 1929-30) and minister of marine (1893-96), industries and commerce (1894-96, 1899-1906), and health and railways (1900-06). He was knighted (K.C.M.G.) in 1901 and was made a baronet in 1911.
Warduni, Shlemon (b. April 24, 1943), apostolic administrator of the Chaldean Catholic Church (2003).
Warioba, (Ndugu) Joseph (Sinde) (b. Sept. 3, 1940, Bunda [or Ikizu, Musoma district], Tanganyika [now in Tanzania]), first vice president and prime minister of Tanzania (1985-90). Earlier he was attorney general (1976-85) and justice minister (1983-85).
Warma, Aleksander (b. June 22, 1890, Viinistu village, Kõnnu municipality, Russia [now in Estonia] - d. Dec. 23, 1970, Stockholm, Sweden), foreign minister (1953-64), acting prime minister (1962-63), and prime minister acting as president (1963-70) of Estonia in exile. He was also Estonian minister to Lithuania (1938-39) and Finland (1939-40).
Warner, Kate, byname of Catherine Ann Warner (b. 1948, Derwent Valley, Tas.), governor of Tasmania (2014- ).
Warner, Mark (Robert) (b. Dec. 15, 1954, Indianapolis, Ind.), governor of Virginia (2002-06). He managed Douglas Wilder's successful gubernatorial campaign in 1989 and served as Virginia Democratic chairman in 1993-95. In 1996, he ran against Republican senator John Warner (no relation) and held him to a 52%-47% margin, his closest since his first election in 1978. By 1999, it was plain that he was going to run for governor in 2001. With no experience in elected office, he presented himself as an entrepreneur who could bring business methods to government. He was unopposed on the Democratic side. Attorney General Mark Earley won the June 2001 Republican primary, but had little money and no clear campaign strategy. Warner, who had plenty of money, called himself a "fiscal conservative" and pledged not to raise the income or sales taxes. Warner won 52%-47%. Once in office, he had to cope with unpleasant fiscal realities. As the budget shortfall kept growing, he continued to rule out a tax increase, cut $858 million in spending, and laid off 1,800 state employees. But in November 2003 he presented his new fiscal plan, a $1 billion tax increase, with increases in the income, sales, and cigarette taxes and reductions in taxes on those with lower incomes and in the car and food taxes. He argued that state government needed the revenue and that under his plan 65% of Virginians would pay less. He ultimately got his program through a Republican legislature. By December 2004 the fiscal picture looked much better. He then sought a bigger national profile and became chairman of the National Governors Association. Governors were limited to one term in Virginia. He was mentioned as a possible presidential candidate on occasion, and in 2008 successfully ran for the Senate seat being vacated by John Warner.
Warren, Jay (Calvin) (b. July 29, 1956, Pitcairn Island), chief magistrate (1991-99) and mayor (2005-07) of Pitcairn Island. He was one of seven men tried in 2004 for a number of rapes and indecent assaults of girls, and was the only one not found guilty.
Warren, Mike, byname of Michael Calvert Warren (b. 1964), mayor of Pitcairn (2008-13). In 2010 he was charged with possessing child pornography.
Warren, William (Robertson) (b. Oct. 9, 1879, St. John's, Newfoundland - d. Dec. 31, 1927, St. John's), Newfoundland politician. He began his political career in 1903, when he won a by-election, but was defeated a year later in a general election. A supporter of Edward Patrick Morris' People's Party in 1908, he was returned to the House of Assembly. When Morris formed a government in 1909 Warren became Speaker of the House, but in 1913 he lost his seat to George Grimes of the Fishermen's Protective Union. In the confused political situation following the defeat of William F. Lloyd's National Government in 1919 Warren attempted to form a new political party with Union support, but was forestalled by Sir Richard Squires, later joining Squires' Liberal Reform party. He was appointed minister of justice and attorney general. As such he played a role in Squires' subsequent downfall, following allegations of government corruption and the misuse of public funds. In 1923 he and three other cabinet members called for the resignation of the minister of agriculture and mines, Alexander Campbell. When Squires refused to dismiss Campbell, Warren and the others resigned. Faced with a divided cabinet, Squires himself resigned. Warren was called upon to form a government, initially enjoying the support of William Coaker and other Union MHAs. His decision to proceed with criminal charges against Squires and Campbell precipitated the fall of his own administration in 1924, four government MHAs defecting to support Squires. Warren formed a new government with a coalition of opposition members, but it collapsed within four days. In the ensuing election, Liberal-Union forces coalesced around Albert Hickman, while Warren was elected as an independent. He resigned from the House in 1926 to accept an appointment to the Supreme Court.
Wase, Mohammed Abdullahi (b. 1950? - d. [plane crash] June 20, 1996, near Jos, Nigeria), administrator of Kano (1993-96).
Waser, Tamir (Glenn) (b. May 10, 1973, Santa Clara county, Calif.), international supervisor of Brcko (2013-14).
Washburne, Elihu B(enjamin) (b. Sept. 23, 1816, Livermore, Maine - d. Oct. 23, 1887, Chicago, Ill.), U.S. secretary of state (1869). He was also minister to France (1869-77).
Washington, George (b. Feb. 22, 1732 [Feb. 11, 1731, O.S.], Popes Creek plantation, Westmoreland county, Virginia - d. Dec. 14, 1799, Mount Vernon, Va.), president of the United States (1789-97). He gained a high military reputation as a soldier (1754-59) in the French and Indian War. From 1759 to 1774 he was a member of Virginia's House of Burgesses. He took part in two of the three Continental Congresses held by the American colonies in revolt against British rule (1774 and 1775), and on the outbreak of the War of Independence (1775-83) he was appointed commander in chief of the American forces. Though the American cause was repeatedly near complete disaster, he brought about the eventual American victory by keeping the army together through the bitter winter of 1777-78 at Valley Forge and winning a decisive battle at Yorktown (1781). Although he hoped to be excused, he was chosen one of Virginia's five delegates to the Constitutional Convention (1787) and was unanimously chosen its president. After the adoption of the constitution he believed he would be allowed to retire again, but the electors chosen in the first days of 1789 unanimously elected him the first president, and reluctantly he accepted and was inaugurated in New York City on April 30. His administration was marked by the methodical precision and sober judgment that had always characterized his conduct. He endeavoured to stay aloof from party divisions and appointed representatives of different political views to his cabinet, though he leaned towards the Federalists and especially Alexander Hamilton. In international affairs he followed a policy of neutrality. He was reelected unanimously in 1792, but refused to yield to the general pressure for a third term.
Washington, Harold (b. April 15, 1922, Chicago, Ill. - d. Nov. 25, 1987, Chicago), mayor of Chicago (1983-87). In 1953 he succeeded his father as Democratic precinct chairman. In 1954-58 he was a city attorney, and in 1960-64 he worked as a state labour arbitrator. He entered the state House of Representatives in 1965, changing to the state Senate in 1977. He entered the U.S. House of Representatives in 1981 and was serving his second term when black leaders in Chicago convinced him to run for mayor. In the Feb. 22, 1983, primary he faced incumbent mayor Jane M. Byrne and Cook County state's attorney Richard M. Daley, son of the late mayor and party boss Richard J. Daley. Byrne and Daley, who represented rival factions of the Democratic machine, rejected race as an issue, but their campaigns, particularly Byrne's, exploited the racial fears of white ethnic voters. Washington further polarized the election by campaigning almost entirely among blacks, promising sweeping reforms in City Hall and an end to the patronage hiring system. Byrne and Daley split the white vote, while blacks, who made up 40% of Chicago's population, voted overwhelmingly for Washington, giving him a narrow victory with slightly more than 36% of the total. In the April 12 general election he defeated Republican Bernard Epton, winning almost 52% of the vote. After his inauguration as the first black mayor of Chicago he struggled with labour unrest, severe financial strains, and a rebellious city council where regular Democrats who opposed him formed a majority coalition of 29 aldermen and blocked his attempts at reform. The city council wrangling was so bitter it became known as the Council Wars. In 1987 he was easily reelected to a second term, but died in office.
Washington, Walter (Edward) (b. April 15, 1915, Dawson, Ga. - d. Oct. 27, 2003, Washington, D.C.), mayor of Washington, D.C. (1967-79). In 1966 he became director of the New York City Housing Authority. Appointed D.C. mayor by Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson in late 1967, he became the first black to head a major U.S. city. Five months later, the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., caused the city to explode in street violence. Washington later recalled that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover urged him to have looters shot, but the mayor instead imposed a "don't shoot the looter" policy and personally spoke to angry young people. He was widely credited with preventing major riots in the district. When the Justice Department refused to allow an anti-Vietnam War march on Pennsylvania Avenue and a violent backlash was rumoured, he went to the White House and asked Pres. Richard M. Nixon to grant a permit. The demonstration was allowed, and 250,000 people marched peacefully. Nixon reappointed Washington twice, and when Congress approved home rule for the District, he ran for mayor in the 1974 election. He defeated Clifford Alexander to become the city's first elected mayor in 104 years. He lost his 1978 reelection bid to fellow Democrat Marion Barry in a primary.
Wasilewski, Leon (b. Aug. 24, 1870, St. Petersburg, Russia - d. Dec. 10, 1936, Warsaw, Poland), foreign minister of Poland (1918-19). He was also minister to Estonia (1920-21).
Wasmosy (Monti), Juan Carlos (María) (b. Dec. 15, 1938, Asunción, Paraguay), president of Paraguay (1993-98). He became one of Paraguay's wealthiest businessmen after winning major state contracts for the Itaipú dam and the Yaciretá hydroelectric power station during the dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner. He was minister of integration under Pres. Andrés Rodríguez. In the ruling Colorado Party's Dec. 27, 1992, primary he appeared to have lost to Luis María Argaña, but he contested the result and, in a controversial ruling, the party's electoral tribunal on March 4, 1993, narrowly proclaimed Wasmosy the winner of the party's nomination. He was backed by Rodríguez, party president Blas Riquelme, and the military, while Argaña had the support of the exiled Stroessner. In the elections on May 9, hailed as the most democratic in Paraguay's history, Wasmosy won a narrow victory with about 40% of the vote. He became the first civilian president since 1954. That the entrenched position of the army and the Colorado Party remained intact was made clear by his support of Gen. Lino Oviedo, who had warned openly that the military would not stand idly by if an opposition candidate won. The Colorado Party won the largest number of seats in Congress, but the united opposition bloc held a majority and supporters of Argaña held more seats than those of Wasmosy. He favoured privatizations and other neoliberal policies; in 1995 Paraguay entered the Mercosur regional common market. In 1996 he won a standoff with Oviedo over control of the party. After leaving office he faced a chain of lawsuits, the main accusations referring to favouritism in the concession of public works to companies where he or some of his cabinet ministers were interested parties, and to the misadministration of state funds redirected from the Social Welfare Institute for the salvaging of 30 failing financial entities.
Watanabe, Michio (b. July 28, 1923, Tochigi prefecture, Japan - d. Sept. 15, 1995, Tokyo, Japan), Japanese politician. He was elected to the Tochigi prefectural assembly in 1955 and to the national House of Representatives in 1963, holding the seat for the rest of his life. He was minister of health and welfare (1976-77), agriculture (1978), finance (1980-82), and international trade and industry (1985-86). He was a member of Yasuhiro Nakasone's faction of the Liberal-Democratic Party (LDP) and in 1981 founded a suprafactional study group called Onchikai. In 1990 he took over the Nakasone faction, which was renamed Watanabe faction. He was known for his particularly blunt way of speaking, being criticized especially for saying that black Americans were excessive spendthrifts, many Chinese were still living in caves, and Korea had consented to its annexation by Japan in 1910. He competed unsuccessfully to become prime minister several times: in 1991 and 1993 he ran for the LDP presidency and in 1994 he tried to win the premiership by joining non-LDP forces, but gave up the plan due to a lack of supporters. In 1991 he became foreign minister and deputy prime minister, but ill health forced him to resign those posts in 1993. In 1995 he led talks on the normalization of diplomatic relations with North Korea and further talks which led to a promise of 300,000 tons of rice aid to North Korea.
Watanjar, Mohammad Aslam (b. 1946, Paktia province, Afghanistan - d. November 2000, Odessa, Ukraine), interior minister (1978-79, 1979, 1988-90) and defense minister (1979, 1990-92) of Afghanistan. He was also minister of communications (1978, 1980-88).
Waterworth, Peter (Andrew) (b. April 15, 1957), governor of Montserrat (2007-11).
Wath, Johannes Gert Hendrik van der (b. Nov. 4, 1903, Ladybrand, Orange River Colony [now in Free State, South Africa] - d. April 17, 1986), administrator of South West Africa (1968-71).
Wathelet, Melchior (b. March 6, 1949, Petit-Rechain, Belgium), minister-president of Wallonia (1985-88) and deputy prime minister and justice minister (1988-95) and defense minister (1995) of Belgium.
Wathelet, Melchior (b. Sept. 30, 1977, Verviers, Belgium), deputy prime minister and interior minister of Belgium (2014); son of Melchior Wathelet (1949- ).
Wathey, Claude, byname of Albert Claudius Wathey (b. July 24, 1926, Philipsburg, Sint Maarten - d. Jan. 9, 1998), Sint Maarten politician. In 1951 he won his first election to the Island Council. In July 1954 he formed the Democratic Party of Sint Maarten with Clem Labega. Wathey enjoyed an illustrious political career, becoming a senator in the Netherlands Antillean parliament in 1962 and later holding other prominent posts, among them commissioner of tourism. The island experienced great economic development through tourism in the 1970s, and he campaigned for its secession from the Netherlands Antilles. By the 1990s there were increasing allegations of economic mismanagement, drug trafficking, and corruption by Wathey and other senior Democratic Party figures and he stepped down from politics. In 1994 he was convicted of charges of perjury and forgery and sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment.
Watie, (Isaac) Stand, also called De Gata Ga (b. Dec. 12, 1806, Oothcaloga [near present Rome], Ga. - d. Sept. 9, 1871, Honey Creek, Indian Territory [now in Delaware county, Okla.]), Cherokee chief. In 1835 he was one of four Cherokee leaders who, in defiance of Principal Chief John Ross and the majority of the Cherokees, signed the Treaty of New Echota, relinquishing their lands in Georgia and forcing the tribe to move westward into Indian Territory. All four were sentenced to death by their tribesmen. On June 22, 1839, the three other signers (his uncle Major Ridge, cousin John Ridge, and brother Elias Boudinot) were killed. Watie alone escaped and remained leader of the minority favouring the treaty. In the Civil War the Cherokees allied with the Confederacy, and he raised and commanded the first Cherokee regiment - the Cherokee Mounted Rifles - in 1861. He was appointed a colonel, took part in many battles and skirmishes in and around Indian Territory, and in 1864 was promoted to brigadier general. In 1862 he established himself as chief of the Cherokees, after John Ross was captured by Union troops. He remained loyal to the Confederacy even after the majority party of the Cherokee in 1863 repudiated the alliance. He was among the last Confederate officers to surrender (June 23, 1865). After the war, he went to Washington, D.C., as a member of the Southern Cherokee delegation during the negotiation of the Cherokee Reconstruction Treaty of 1866. He was rebuffed in his bid for federal recognition as Cherokee chief.
Watkins, James D(avid) (b. March 7, 1927, Alhambra, Calif. - d. July 26, 2012, Alexandria, Va.), U.S. chief of naval operations (1982-86) and energy secretary (1989-93).
Watson, Albert, II (b. Jan. 5, 1909, Illinois - d. March 19, 1993, San Antonio, Texas), U.S. city commandant of Berlin (1961-63) and high commissioner of the Ryukyu Islands (1964-66).
A. Watson II
Watson, Arthur Christopher (b. Jan. 2, 1927 - d. May 7, 2001), commissioner of Anguilla (1971-74), governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands (1975-78), high commissioner of Brunei (1978-83), and governor of Montserrat (1985-87).
Watson, Jim (b. 1961, Montreal, Que.), mayor of Ottawa (1998-2000, 2010- ).
Watson, John Christian (b. April 9, 1867, Valparaíso, Chile - d. Nov. 18, 1941, Sydney, N.S.W.), prime minister of Australia (1904). He was born when his parents were on their way as emigrants from Britain to New Zealand, where he grew up. He migrated to Australia in 1886. Getting involved in the labour movement, he was elected president of the Sydney Trades and Labour Council and president of the Australian Labour Federation in 1893. He was an opposition member of the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales (1894-1901), then was elected to the first commonwealth parliament and was made leader of the federal Labour Party. He secured the passage of two acts reflecting the policy of White Australia, of which his party was the loudest protagonist - the Immigration Restriction Act, and the act abolishing the employment of Pacific Islanders in Queensland. Although his party was in a hopeless minority, Watson in 1904 formed the first federal Labour ministry - becoming in fact the first Labour prime minister in any country under parliamentary government - but the government fell after only four months. In 1905 he again entered a coalition with the Liberal leader Alfred Deakin. He resigned the leadership of the Labour Party in 1907 and left parliament in 1910. In 1916 he was expelled from the party for supporting conscription. From 1920 to his death he was president of the National Roads and Motorists' Association.
Watt, James G(aius) (b. Jan. 31, 1938, Lusk, Wyo.), U.S. secretary of the interior (1981-83). As a lawyer he was chief counsel (1977-80) for the Mountain States Legal Foundation, a law firm that specialized in fighting environmental restrictions in the West. Under his aggressive leadership as secretary, many of Interior's protective programs restricting development of federal lands were relaxed or dismantled. He halted the practice of allowing the federal government to preempt state water rights, planned to lease a billion acres for offshore oil and gas exploration, moved to break a congressional moratorium on development in a Montana wilderness area, eased restrictions on strip mining adjacent to national parks, and advocated a policy of rehabilitating existing national parks instead of acquiring land for new ones. The result was a flood of lawsuits, angry demonstrations, and editorials. Environmental groups gathered more than a million signatures on petitions calling for his ouster. His proposal to open four of California's offshore oil tracts to exploratory drilling provoked an outraged reaction from the state's Republican leaders as well as from environmentalists, and he was forced to retreat. Eventually, even Republican Party leaders came to believe that Watt's policies and his abrasive personal style were making him a political liability. Finally, on Oct. 9, 1983, Pres. Ronald Reagan "reluctantly" accepted Watt's resignation. The final storm was touched off by Watt's flippant description of the balance reflected in a coal-leasing advisory panel he had appointed: "a black... a woman, two Jews, and a cripple." In his resignation letter Watt concluded that his "usefulness... had come to an end."
Watt, Lindsay (Johnstone), New Zealand representative in the Cook Islands (1980-82) and administrator of Tokelau (1993-2003). He was also ambassador to China (1985-89).
Watts, Glenn E(llis) (b. June 4, 1920, Stony Point, N.C. - d. Aug. 30, 2002, Washington, D.C.), president of the Communications Workers of America (1974-85). He held several union positions, from local union president to secretary-treasurer, until being elected the union's second president. He repeatedly negotiated contracts with AT&T that covered more workers than any other union contract in the nation. When the AT&T monopoly was broken up in 1984, he negotiated a contract that softened the blow to workers by providing better severance payments and money for job retraining. A moderate on the AFL-CIO's executive council, he was one of the nation's most outspoken union leaders. He joined Pres. Jimmy Carter at a meeting with Egyptian leader Anwar as-Sadat as part of Carter's Middle East peacemaking process. In 1985, he established the Glenn E. Watts Cultural Center in Jerusalem, which encouraged understanding between Jewish and Arab members of Histadrut, Israel's labour federation.
Wavell, Archibald Percival Wavell, (1st) Earl, (1st) Viscount Wavell (of Cyrenaica and of Winchester in the County of Southampton), Viscount Keren (of Eritrea and of Winchester in the County of Southampton) (b. May 5, 1883, Colchester, Essex, England - d. May 24, 1950, London, England), viceroy of India (1943-47). He served in the South African War and later in India. In World War I he served on the western front, in Russia, and in Palestine. In 1930 he was given his first independent command. In 1937 he became commander in Palestine; in 1938 he was promoted lieutenant general and returned to Britain to take over Southern Command; in 1939 he was knighted and went back to the Middle East as commander in chief with headquarters at Cairo. He reached the high-water mark of his military career by routing greatly superior Italian armies in Libya (Dec. 9, 1940-Feb. 7, 1941) and liquidating the Italian empire in East Africa (January-May 1941), even though in February 1941 almost 60,000 of his troops were withdrawn to Greece. When he proved unable to defeat the weak German Afrikakorps in North Africa under Gen. Erwin Rommel, he was superseded in July 1941, changing posts with Gen. Sir Claude Auchinleck, who had been commander in chief in India. After Japan entered the war, he assumed command of the defense of Burma on Dec. 28, 1941, and a week later was appointed supreme commander in the southwest Pacific, with headquarters in Java. Fighting against great odds, he could not prevent the loss of Malaya, Singapore, and Burma to the Japanese (December 1941-May 1942). In January 1943 he was promoted to field marshal. In June he was appointed viceroy of India and in July raised to the peerage as Viscount Wavell. He failed to bring about an accommodation between Hindus and Muslims and became more and more unpopular with both sides. In 1947, when he advised a prolongation of British rule, he was recalled and created an earl.
Wazzan, Shafiq (Dib), Shafiq also spelled Shafik or Chafic, Arabic Shafiq Dib al-Wazzan (b. 1925, Beirut, Lebanon - d. July 8, 1999, Beirut), prime minister of Lebanon (1980-84). He was first elected to parliament for Beirut in 1968 and became justice minister in 1969. A Sunni Muslim with no strong political constituency, he was thrust into the nation's second-most-powerful office as a compromise prime minister in 1980, at the height of the 1975-90 civil war. When Israel invaded Lebanon in June 1982 and besieged Beirut to force Palestine Liberation Organization guerrillas out, his government acted as intermediary between U.S. presidential envoy Philip Habib and Yasir Arafat's PLO. At one point during the negotiations, which were coupled with heavy bombardment of the Palestinian-controlled Muslim sector of the capital, the soft-spoken Wazzan threatened to call off the negotiations, shouting before cameras: "Enough! Enough!" The negotiations eventually led to the deployment of U.S. Marines as part of a multinational peacekeeping force and the withdrawal of thousands of Palestinian fighters and Syrian troops from Beirut. In 1983, his government negotiated an agreement with Israel for the withdrawal of its invading army from Lebanon. But the May 17 Accord, concluded after arduous negotiations involving U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, was never implemented. Pres. Amin Gemayel, under Syrian pressure, did not sign the agreement, and Israeli troops remained in a border zone in southern Lebanon. The deal with Israel earned Wazzan wrath within his Muslim community and he was boycotted by Muslim leaders. He never fully recovered politically since his departure from the prime minister's office in 1984 after another round of fighting in the civil war forced Gemayel to replace him.
Weatherill, Jay (Wilson) (b. April 3, 1964, Adelaide, S.Aus.), premier of South Australia (2011- ).
Weaver, James B(aird) (b. June 12, 1833, Dayton, Ohio - d. Feb. 6, 1912, Des Moines, Iowa), U.S. politician. Entering politics in the 1850s, he changed from Democrat to Free-Soiler to Republican. When the Civil War broke out in 1861 he enlisted as a private in the Union army; he served with distinction until 1864, when he left the army as a brevet brigadier general. After the war he antagonized Iowa Radical Republicans by accepting an appointment from Pres. Andrew Johnson as an internal revenue assessor (1867-73). His reformist temperament, indicated by his ardent Methodism, Prohibitionism, criticism of the railroads, and advocacy of easy money, further jeopardized his standing with the "regulars." Even so, his opponents were barely able to deprive him of the Republican nomination for Congress (1874) and for governor (1875). He gradually went over to the Greenback Party, which supported increasing the number of greenback paper dollars in circulation. For them he served six years in the U.S. House of Representatives (1879-81, 1885-89) and in 1880 ran for the presidency, polling more than 300,000 votes. He helped to form the People's Party, which became the main advocate of soft money after the Greenback Party had dissolved, and accepted its presidential nomination in 1892. He won more than 1,000,000 popular and 22 electoral votes. Although classed as an "agrarian radical," his views on currency expansion were actually quite moderate. In 1896 he favoured a fusion experiment with the Democratic Party by which the Populists endorsed the Democratic presidential candidate, William Jennings Bryan. This marked the effective dissolution of the Populist Party and the waning of Weaver's political career. He served as mayor of Colfax, Iowa, in 1901-03.
Weaver, Robert C(lifton) (b. Dec. 29, 1907, Washington, D.C. - d. July 17, 1997, New York City), U.S. secretary of housing and urban development (1966-69). He was a specialist on labour, urban renewal, federal aid to education, as well as housing issues. Beginning in 1934 as an adviser on racial problems to the secretary of the interior, he held numerous posts in federal, state, and city government and with foundations and organizations. In 1961, under Pres. John F. Kennedy, he became administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency, the predecessor of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. When Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him as the first secretary of housing and urban development, he also became the nation's first black cabinet member. He was active for many years in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and in 1960 he was chairman of its national board of directors.
Webb, Ralph Humphreys (b. 1887, at sea en route from India to England - d. June 1, 1945, Ottawa, Ont.), mayor of Winnipeg (1925-27, 1930-34).
Webb, Sir Thomas Clifton (b. March 8, 1889, Te Kopuru, Northland, New Zealand - d. Feb. 6, 1962, Wellington, New Zealand), foreign minister of New Zealand (1951-54); knighted 1956. He was also minister of justice (1949-54) and island territories (1951-54) and high commissioner to the United Kingdom (1955-58).
Weber, Frédéric Claude (b. Sept. 21, 1855, Macon, Saône-et-Loire, France - d. 19...), acting lieutenant governor of Gabon (1909).
Webster, Daniel (b. Jan. 18, 1782, Salisbury [area now in Franklin], N.H. - d. Oct. 24, 1852, Marshfield, Mass.), U.S. politician. In 1812 he was elected to the House of Representatives as a member of the Federalist Party. He opposed the war against Britain and took an extreme states-rights position against conscription, even hinting at nullification of federal laws by the states. He served in the House in 1813-17 and 1823-27 and in the Senate in 1827-41 and 1845-50. He also practiced prominently as a lawyer before the U.S. Supreme Court, influencing the development of constitutional law. In arguing several cases which had the effect of enlarging the authority of the federal government, he appears to have forgotten his earlier states-rights arguments. Later he also became a leading protectionist, refuting his previous arguments against protective tariffs. When in 1830 Sen. Robert Y. Hayne presented the theory that a state could nullify a federal law and, as a last resort, secede from the Union, Webster, a great orator, in reply eloquently defended the powers of the federal government, concluding with the words: "Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!" Webster and Henry Clay were leaders of the amorphous group opposed to Pres. Andrew Jackson which became the nucleus of the Whig Party. Stigmatized as a friend of the rich, he carried only Massachusetts when he ran as one of three Whig presidential candidates in 1836. In 1841-43, he was secretary of state under Presidents William Henry Harrison and John Tyler. After the Mexican War he spoke out (March 7, 1850) in favour of Clay's compromise proposals regarding the status of slavery in the new territories, thereby perhaps postponing civil war for a decade. He was secretary of state again (1850-52) under Pres. Millard Fillmore.
Webster, (James) Ronald (b. March 2, 1926, Island Harbour, Anguilla), chief minister of Anguilla (1976-77, 1980-84).
Webster, William H(edgcock) (b. March 6, 1924, St. Louis, Mo.), U.S. official. A Republican, he was appointed by Pres. Richard Nixon to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in 1971 and to the Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit in 1973. In both positions, he gained a reputation as a moderate of high integrity. When he was named by Pres. Jimmy Carter to be director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in January 1978, the famed bureau was in a serious state of disarray. Reports of criminal activity by its agents, of bureaucratic power plays, and of investigative blind spots had even tarnished the once shiny reputation of the late J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI's first director. Webster was chosen from a list of 17 prospects after Carter's first choice, Alabama federal judge Frank Johnson, declined the job for health reasons. Webster accepted it, resigning a lifetime judicial job, after being promised direct access to the U.S. attorney general and authority over subordinates. He had to handle the cases of more than 60 FBI agents and supervisors accused of using illegal methods such as burglaries and warrantless wiretaps. He was praised for concentrating the FBI's efforts on terrorism, white-collar crime, and narcotics. Pres. Ronald Reagan appointed Webster to head the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on March 3, 1987. In his new job Webster did not hold cabinet rank, as the previous CIA chief William Casey had. On taking office, Webster talked of "fidelity to the constitution and the laws." The CIA was in somewhat the same position as the FBI had been when Webster took it over in 1978 - low in public esteem because of accusations that employees had exceeded legal authority for partisan and other purposes. He served until 1991.
Wechmar, Rüdiger (Freiherr) von (b. Nov. 23, 1923, Berlin, Germany - d. Oct. 17, 2007, Munich, Germany), president of the UN General Assembly (1980-81). He was West German permanent representative to the UN (1974-81) and ambassador to Italy (1981-83) and the United Kingdom (1983-88).
Wee Chong Jin
Wee Chong Jin, Pinyin Huang Zhongren (b. Sept. 28, 1917, Penang, Straits Settlements [now in Malaysia] - d. June 5, 2005, Singapore), acting president of Singapore (1985). He was chief justice in 1963-90.
Wee Kim Wee, Pinyin Huang Jinhui (b. Nov. 4, 1915, Singapore - d. May 2, 2005, Singapore), president of Singapore (1985-93). Having made many contacts in the region as a journalist, he moved on to become a diplomat. For his contributions as high commissioner to Malaysia (1973-80), he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in 1979. He went on to become ambassador to Japan (1980-84) and South Korea (1981-84). After retiring from the diplomatic service in 1984, he took up a new post as chairman of the then Singapore Broadcasting Corporation. A year later, he became president, determined to make the presidency as accessible as possible to ordinary Singaporeans. For his genuine concern for others and natural warmth he was remembered as the "people's president." He retired from the presidency in September 1993, citing his age, health, and constitutional amendments which provided for an elected president.
Wee Kim Wee
Weeks, John W(ingate) (b. April 11, 1860, near Lancaster, N.H. - d. July 12, 1926, Lancaster), U.S. secretary of war (1921-25).
Weeks, Rocheforte Lafayette (b. 1923 - d. March 3, 1986, Monrovia, Liberia), foreign minister of Liberia (1972-73).
Weeks, (Charles) Sinclair (b. June 15, 1893, West Newton, Mass. - d. Feb. 7, 1972, Concord, Mass.), U.S. politician; son of John W. Weeks. Long active in Republican politics (he was mayor of Newton, Mass., in 1930-35), he became a national committeeman for Massachusetts in 1940. He was treasurer of the Republican National Committee from 1941 to 1944, and in the latter year served 10 months in the U.S. Senate, on appointment to fill a vacancy. In 1949 he was chosen national finance committee chairman of the Republican Party. In 1953 he became secretary of commerce in Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower's cabinet. On April 26, 1956, he freed about 700 non-strategic U.S. products for export to the U.S.S.R. and the "iron curtain" nations. In 1957 he was made chairman of a presidential cabinet committee to investigate U.S. reliance upon oil imports and the possible danger to national security resulting therefrom. In 1958 he formed a special committee of prominent U.S. businessmen to report on the U.S.S.R.'s economic "cold war" and other foreign economic problems of the United States. Weeks resigned from the cabinet effective Nov. 10, 1958.
Wehner, Herbert (Richard) (b. July 11, 1906, Dresden, Germany - d. Jan. 19, 1990, Bonn, West Germany), West German politician. He joined the Communist Party in 1927 and, when World War II broke out, he worked for the Soviet Comintern in Prague, Moscow, and Stockholm, where he was imprisoned (1942-44) for espionage. During this period he abandoned Communist ideology in favour of a more pragmatic Socialism and, on his return to Germany in 1946, he settled in Bonn as a member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD). Wehner was elected to the first Bundestag (parliament) in 1949, and in 1958 he was named SPD deputy chairman. He held his only cabinet post as minister for all-German affairs in the "grand coalition" government (1966-69), which brought the SPD into the government for the first time. As SPD parliamentary leader (1969-83), he worked for the implementation of Ostpolitik, the policy of improving relations with Eastern Europe, especially during Willy Brandt's chancellorship (1969-74). After Chancellor Helmut Schmidt's coalition government fell in 1982, Wehner retired to Sweden, where he continued to advocate greater cooperation between East and West and eventual German reunification.
Wei Bangping (b. January 1884, Zhongshan, Guangdong, China - d. 1935, Guangzhou, Guangdong), civil governor of Guangdong (1922).
Wei Lihuang (b. Feb. 16, 1897, Hefei, Anhui, China - d. Jan. 17, 1960, Beijing, China), chairman of the government of Henan (1939-42).
Wei Tao-ming, Pinyin Wei Daoming (b. Nov. 8, 1900 - d. May 18, 1978), governor of Taiwan province (1947-49) and foreign minister of Taiwan (1966-71).
Weil, Alain (b. May 17, 1945, Aurillac, Cantal, France), prefect of Mayotte (1994-96). He was also prefect of Lozère département (1996-2000).
Weil, Stephan (b. Dec. 15, 1958, Hamburg, West Germany), minister-president of Niedersachsen (2013- ). He was lord mayor of Hannover in 2006-13.
Weinberger, Caspar (Willard) (b. Aug. 18, 1917, San Francisco, Calif. - d. March 28, 2006, Bangor, Maine), U.S. secretary of defense (1981-87). He served as California's finance director under Gov. Ronald Reagan, as director of the Office of Management and Budget under Pres. Richard M. Nixon, and as secretary of health, education and welfare (1973-75) under Presidents Nixon and Gerald R. Ford. And in each job his budget-trimming tendencies were the talk of the bureaucracy, earning him the sobriquet "Cap the Knife." When Reagan was elected president in 1980, he tabbed his old friend Weinberger to be secretary of defense in the new Republican administration. But this time Weinberger was not asked to make budget cuts. Indeed, while the rest of the federal budget was being slashed, he presided over the biggest peacetime increase in military spending in U.S. history. Still, his reputation for efficiency was not entirely unneeded in the Pentagon. Many experts had called the Defense Department the most wasteful of federal agencies. Weinberger, like many a defense secretary before him, set out to streamline its operation. Among other things, he sought to delegate more authority to his subordinates, keeping himself free for long-range decision-making. During his first year in office, he also found time for some internecine gamesmanship with Reagan's secretary of state (and former army general), Alexander Haig. In public and in private the two disagreed on such matters as the U.S. role in El Salvador and the advisability of a "demonstration" nuclear explosion to scare off an actual Soviet threat to Western Europe. He resigned in 1987, following claims he had been involved in selling arms to Iran to fund pro-U.S. rebels in Nicaragua. He was indicted later on felony counts for his alleged role in the Iran-contra affair, but was pardoned by Pres. George Bush in 1992.
Weir, Sir Michael (Scott) (b. Jan. 28, 1925, Dunfermline, Fife, England - d. June 22, 2006, London, England), British political officer in the Trucial States (1952-53). He was ambassador to Egypt in 1979-85, being knighted in 1980.
Weizman, Ezer (b. June 15, 1924, Tel Aviv, Palestine [now in Israel] - d. April 24, 2005, Caesarea, Israel), president of Israel (1993-2000); nephew of Chaim Weizmann. He joined Britain's Royal Air Force in 1942 at the height of World War II and later became one of the founding officers of the Israel Air Force (IAF). In 1958-66 he was commander in chief of the IAF and in 1966 he became chief of military operations, the second-ranking position in Israel's military hierarchy and the customary stepping-stone to the post of chief of staff. But in 1969 Prime Minister Golda Meir vetoed his appointment to that post, and he resigned his commission and turned to politics. In 1969-70 he was transport minister. In 1977 he organized the highly successful Likud Party election campaign and became defense minister under Prime Minister Menachem Begin, playing a major role in the 1978 peace negotiations with Egypt. He resigned and broke with Likud in 1980. In 1984 he returned to politics at the head of a tiny dovish party that later merged with the Labour Party. He served as minister without portfolio (1984-88) and minister of science and technology (1988-90). He quit politics in 1992, only to reemerge in 1993 as Labour's candidate for president. He shot from the lip from his ostensibly ceremonial post, raising the ire of Israeli politicians and groups as diverse as homosexuals and ultra-Orthodox Jews. He angered the left by urging Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to slow the pace of peacemaking with Palestinians following suicide bombings - and the right by telling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to get negotiations moving again when they became deadlocked. He captured a second term as president in 1998, defying forecasts that he might literally talk himself out of a job. However, he was forced to resign in 2000 after being investigated for financial irregularities with a French Jewish businessman.
Weizmann, Chaim (Azriel) (b. Nov. 27, 1874, Motol, Poland, Russian Empire [now in Belarus] - d. Nov. 9, 1952, Rehovot, Israel), president of Israel (1949-52). He left Russia in 1891, living mainly in Switzerland before settling in England in 1904. He first became known as the leader of the "Young Zionist" opposition to Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism. He was largely responsible for winning from the British government the Balfour Declaration (November 1917) favouring the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine. In 1920 he became head of the World Zionist Organization, and in 1929 of the extended Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency. At the 1931 congress, he lost the post after a vote of no-confidence, but he was reelected in 1935. In 1945 he denounced on moral grounds the violent campaign waged by Jewish dissident groups against British forces in Palestine. Opponents then revived allegations against him of pro-British prejudice, and he was driven to resign the Zionist presidency (1946), never returning to the official leadership. Nevertheless, early in 1948 the Zionist leadership sent him to Washington for crucial talks with Pres. Harry Truman. He persuaded the U.S. administration to drop its trusteeship plan for Palestine - which would have jeopardized the establishment of the State of Israel - as well as its proposal to exclude the southern province of Negev from Israel. His intervention also led to immediate U.S. recognition when the state was proclaimed (May 14) and the grant of a $100,000,000 loan. He became president of the Provisional State Council on May 17 and in February 1949 was elected the first president of Israel, being reelected in 1951. Largely owing to his poor health, he took little part in active politics. He died in office.
Weizsäcker, Karl (Hugo) Freiherr von (b. Feb. 25, 1853, Stuttgart, Württemberg [now in Baden-Württemberg, Germany] - d. Feb. 2, 1926, Karlsruhe, Baden [now in Baden-Württemberg], Germany), state president of Württemberg (1906-18). He was personally ennobled (acquiring the "von") in 1897 and created hereditary Freiherr (baron) in 1916.
Weizsäcker, Richard (Karl Freiherr) von (b. April 15, 1920, Stuttgart, Württemberg [now in Baden-Württemberg], Germany - d. Jan. 31, 2015, Berlin, Germany), president of the Federal Republic of Germany (1984-94); grandson of Karl Freiherr von Weizsäcker. He joined the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in 1950. A devout Protestant churchman, he was for many years president of the Evangelischer Kirchentag, the congress of the German Protestant church. He was elected to the Bundestag in 1969 and served on several policy drafting commissions. From 1979 to 1981 he was deputy speaker of the Bundestag. As governing mayor of West Berlin from 1981 to 1984, he proved himself a firm administrator, but he also showed a tolerance toward minority groups and a gift for conciliation that helped restore a degree of tranquillity to the city after a particularly turbulent period. These qualities made him a natural choice for presidential candidate, and he was elected on the first ballot on May 23, 1984, receiving the votes not only of his own party and its coalition partner, the Free Democratic Party (FDP), but also those of many Social Democrats. In his address to the Bundestag at his swearing-in ceremony on July 1, he said that the Berlin Wall had failed in its objective of making people in both German states abandon their sense of unity. Instead, the wall had made these feelings stronger and more conspicuous. He was reelected in 1989. The Berlin Wall fell later that year, and in 1990 he became the first president of the reunited Germany.
R. von Weizsäcker
Welagedera, D(ingiri) B(andara), also spelled Welagedara (b. Oct. 31, 1915, Panaliya, Polgahawela, Ceylon [now Sri Lanka] - d. April 22, 1989), governor of North Central province, Sri Lanka (1988-89). He was also minister of plan implementation (1988).
Welche, Charles (Nicolas) (b. April 23, 1828, Nancy, France - d. April 18, 1902), interior minister of France (1877). He was also mayor of Nancy (1869-72) and prefect of the départements of Lot-et-Garonne (1872-73), Haute-Garonne (1873-74), Loire-Inférieure (1874-75), Rhône (1875-77), and Nord (1877).
Weld, William F(loyd) (b. July 31, 1945, Smithtown, N.Y.), governor of Massachusetts (1991-97). As U.S. attorney in Massachusetts (1981-86), he prosecuted many local pols; as an assistant attorney general (1986-88), he resigned in protest of the controversies surrounding Attorney General Edwin Meese. In the 1990 primary, Republican Weld spent $1.1 million of his own money to overtake party-endorsed anti-abortion legislator Steven Pierce, 61%-39%. He then won against Democrat John Silber 50%-47%, with strong votes from women and baby boomers. In 1991, he amazed Massachusetts by cutting state spending. He privatized services, slashed public payrolls, and set the way for nine tax cuts in four years. At the same time, his outspoken pro-choice stand on abortion and his vehement support of gay rights quieted Massachusetts's articulate cultural liberals. His welfare program, unveiled in January 1994, was radical: replacing cash grants with day care, health care, and child support, with beneficiaries given 90 days to find a job and then having to perform community service or forfeit benefits. He supported environmental measures and angered some conservatives when he changed his anti-gun control stand to back an assault weapons ban and waiting period for handgun purchases. He was easily reelected in November 1994. Congressman Joe Kennedy, Boston Mayor Ray Flynn, Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, and John Silber all declined to run against him; the Democratic nominee was legislator Mark Roosevelt, a cousin of Weld's wife. Roosevelt called Weld "indifferent, apathetic, feckless, aloof, passive, and lazy. Did I say uncaring? He's uncaring." But it availed him nothing, and Weld won 71%-28%. In 1997 he resigned to seek (unsuccessfully) the post of ambassador to Mexico.
Welensky, Sir Roy, byname of Roland Welensky, original name Raphael Welensky (b. Jan. 20, 1907, Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia [now Harare, Zimbabwe] - d. Dec. 5, 1991, Blandford Forum, Dorset, England), prime minister of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (1956-63). He was a prominent boxer who held the heavyweight title for Southern and Northern Rhodesia in 1925-27. As a railway worker he became involved in union politics and reorganized the Railway Workers Union, later serving as its chairman (1953-63). He won a seat on the Northern Rhodesia legislative council in 1938, founded the Northern Rhodesia Labour Party in 1941, and after World War II led efforts to join Northern and Southern Rhodesia. In 1946 he was named to the Executive Council of Northern Rhodesia. He forged the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (composed of the British colonies that were to become the countries Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi) in 1953, becoming its deputy prime minister and minister of transport and communications and, in 1956, prime minister and minister of external affairs and (until 1959) defense. He sought to manoeuvre between black and white nationalist ambitions; he opposed the apartheid system of South Africa, advocating "partnership" with the black majority, yet he was unwilling to transfer power to a population he saw as unready to rule. His views were dismissed by both black and white nationalists. When the federation collapsed in 1963, he blamed the British for withdrawing their support and was never able to forgive their "betrayal." In elections in Southern Rhodesia in 1964, his Federal Party suffered a crushing defeat. He was a longtime opponent of Ian Smith and condemned his unilateral declaration of independence in 1965. Welensky, who was knighted in 1953, immigrated to England in 1981, soon after Rhodesia became black-ruled Zimbabwe.
Well, Günther van (b. Oct. 15, 1922, Osterath, Germany - d. Aug. 14, 1993, Bonn, Germany), West German diplomat. He was permanent representative to the United Nations (1981-84) and ambassador to the United States (1984-87).
Weller, John B(rown) (b. Feb. 22, 1812, Hamilton county, Ohio - d. Aug. 17, 1875, New Orleans, La.), governor of California (1858-60). He was also U.S. minister to Mexico (1861).
Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, (1st) Duke of, Marquess of Douro, Marquess of Wellington, Earl of Wellington, Viscount Wellington of Talavera and of Wellington, Baron Douro of Wellesley, original name (until 1798) Arthur Wesley (b. May 1, 1769, Dublin, Ireland - d. Sept. 14, 1852, Walmer Castle, Kent, England), British prime minister (1828-30, 1834). He was also ambassador to France (1814-15), master-general of the ordnance (1818-27), commander-in-chief of the forces (1827-28, 1842-52), and foreign secretary (1834-35). He was leader of the Conservative Party in 1828-34. With Prussian field marshal Gebhard Blücher he defeated Napoléon at Waterloo on June 18, 1815. He was made an earl, then a marquess, in 1812 and a duke in 1814.
Wells, Colin (b. Sept. 29, 1967), administrator of Ascension (2011-14).
Wells, George (Andre), internal affairs minister (2004, 2004-07, 2011-12) and foreign minister (2007-08, 2010-11, 2011) of Vanuatu. He was also speaker of parliament (2008-09, 2010, 2012-13) and minister of health (2014-15).
Wellstone, Paul (David) (b. July 21, 1944, Washington, D.C. - d. Oct. 25, 2002, near Eveleth, Minn.), U.S. politician. He launched a longshot bid for the U.S. Senate in 1990, touring Minnesota in a rickety old green bus, and stunned the political establishment by knocking off Republican incumbent Rudy Boschwitz. Afterward, left-leaning Mother Jones magazine called him "the first 1960s radical elected to the U.S. Senate." One of the foremost liberals on Capitol Hill, he defeated Boschwitz again in 1996. He flirted with a 2000 presidential run, but decided against it, saying a back injury would prevent him from running a vigorous campaign. In October 2002, he cast his vote against legislation to authorize the use of force in Iraq - the only Democrat in a competitive race to go against Pres. George W. Bush on the issue. Later that month, while he was locked in a reelection battle against Republican Norm Coleman, considered key to control of the Senate, he was killed in a plane crash.
Welti, (Friedrich) Emil (b. April 23, 1825 - d. Feb. 24, 1899), president of Switzerland (1869, 1872, 1876, 1880, 1884, 1891).
Wen Jiabao (b. September 1942, Tianjin, China), premier of China (2003-13).
Wen Qun (b. March 14, 1884, Pingxiang, Jiangxi, China - d. March 5, 1969, Taipei, Taiwan), civil governor of Jiangxi (1925).
Wénézoui, Charles (Hervé) (b. 1950? - d. April 16, 2007), foreign minister of the Central African Republic (2003-05).
Weng Wenhao (Pinyin), Wade-Giles Wong Wen-hao (b. June 29, 1889, in present Ningbo, Zhejiang, China - d. Jan. 29, 1971, Beijing, China), premier of China (1948). He was also minister of economic affairs (1938-46).
Wensley, Penelope (Anne), byname Penny Wensley (b. Oct. 18, 1946, Toowoomba, Queensland), governor of Queensland (2008-14). She was Australia's permanent representative to the United Nations (1997-2001), high commissioner to India (2001-04), and ambassador to France (2005-08).
Weretilneck, Alberto (Edgardo) (b. Oct. 11, 1962, El Bolsón, Río Negro, Argentina), governor of Río Negro (2012- ).
Werleigh, Claudette (Antoine), née Antoine (b. Sept. 26, 1946), foreign minister (1993-95) and prime minister (1995-96) of Haiti.
Werner, Pierre (b. Dec. 29, 1913, Saint-André, near Lille, France - d. June 24, 2002, Luxembourg, Luxembourg), finance minister (1953-74), prime minister (1959-74, 1979-84), and foreign minister (1964-67) of Luxembourg. He remembered living through the 1930s when "everyone wanted to protect themselves and devalue to promote exports." It was this experience that led him, in the late 1950s, to become interested in a proposal made by Belgian banker Fernand Collin, then president of Kredietbank, for wider use of a common unit of account in the newly-formed European Community (EC). After becoming prime minister in 1959, he took up the cause publicly. He first advocated a European currency, which he called the "Euror," in a speech in Strasbourg in 1960. He backed the European Commission in 1962 when it urged exchange rates in the planned common market to be restricted. Werner said it was not until the late 1960s, after sterling's November 1967 devaluation, and the first signs of trouble in the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates, that other member states took interest. By 1970 three of the then six EC governments had drawn up proposals on how to achieve an economic and monetary union. Werner was appointed chairman of a committee to come up with just one. This first official blueprint for monetary union, known as the "Werner Plan," was presented in October 1970 and endorsed by heads of state and government on March 22, 1971. It called on the bloc to achieve a full monetary union in three stages by 1980. A system to limit exchange rate movements - dubbed "the Snake" - was set up in 1972 and an intervention fund was created a year later, but by 1974 the plan had foundered under the combined weight of the 1971 collapse of Bretton Woods and the 1973 oil shock.
Wernli, Kurt (b. June 3, 1942), Landammann of Aargau (2001-02, 2006-07).
Wescot-Williams, Sarah (A.) (b. 1956, Sint Maarten), leader of the government (1999-2009) and prime minister (2010-14) of Sint Maarten. She was also president of the parliament in October-November 2014.
Wessel, Gerhard (b. Dec. 24, 1913, Neumünster, Germany - d. July 28, 2002, Pullach, Germany), German intelligence official. During World War II he worked at the German army's central command, analyzing the movements of Soviet troops. After the war, he worked for U.S. intelligence and beginning in 1952 played a role in building up the new West German army and its counterespionage unit. In 1968 he took over the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), the West German intelligence agency, as the successor to Reinhard Gehlen, the former chief of Adolf Hitler's Soviet intelligence unit, with whom he had worked during and after the war. Wessel is credited with turning the BND into a modern intelligence agency that hired academic analysts and electronics specialists alongside agents. Under Wessel's tenure, the BND informed the West German government three months in advance of the Soviet Union's plans to invade Czechoslovakia in 1968. The BND also had early information about growing dissatisfaction among shipyard workers in Gdansk, Poland. Several infiltration attempts also marked his tenure. In 1970, he advised against the appointment of Günter Guillaume to the office of Chancellor Willy Brandt. Guillaume was later exposed as a spy for communist East Germany, prompting Brandt's resignation. Wessel retired from the BND in 1978.
Wessin y Wessin, Elías (b. July 22, 1924, Bayaguana, Dominican Republic - d. April 18, 2009, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic), interior minister (1986-88) and defense minister (1988-89) of the Dominican Republic. The extreme right-wing brigadier was one of the leaders of the coup which overthrew Pres. Juan Bosch in 1963 and he played a prominent role in the civil war of 1965. He was a presidential candidate in 1970 and 1982.
West, Harry, byname of Henry William West (b. March 27, 1917, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Ireland [now in Northern Ireland] - d. Feb. 5, 2004, Enniskillen), Northern Ireland politician. The Protestant hardliner became leader of Northern Ireland's major pro-British party, the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), after opposing the 1973 Sunningdale peace agreement, the first serious attempt to resolve the conflict over this British territory. It proposed forging a Catholic-Protestant government for Northern Ireland that, in turn, was supposed to cooperate formally with the Republic of Ireland in a bid to address Catholic demands for Irish unity. West backed a violent Protestant general strike in May 1974 that toppled the power-sharing government and the UUP leader at its helm, Brian Faulkner. West insisted he wasn't anti-Catholic, but opposed the Sunningdale formula because it sought to promote all-Ireland cooperation. West then led his fractured party into a temporary alliance with Ian Paisley's extreme Democratic Unionist Party, running jointly agreed candidates. West ended cooperation with Paisley in 1977 when the Democratic Unionist chief backed a second violent Protestant strike. West resigned as UUP leader in 1979, shortly after Paisley badly beat him in a Northern Ireland-wide vote for a seat in the European Parliament. Then on April 9, 1981, West lost one of the most bitterly fought and divisive elections in Northern Ireland history - to Bobby Sands, leader of Irish Republican Army prisoners waging a prison hunger strike. In a by-election for the British parliamentary seat in County Fermanagh, he received 29,046 votes to Sands' 30,492 on a colossal 87% turnout. Sands starved to death less than a month later, the first of 10 Irish republican prisoners to die. West remained active in the background of Ulster Unionist politics until the mid-1990s.
West, John C(arl) (b. Aug. 27, 1922, Camden, S.C. - d. March 21, 2004, Hilton Head Island, S.C.), governor of South Carolina (1971-75). He served in the state Senate from 1955 to 1967 and then as lieutenant governor before being elected governor. He helped smooth racial tensions in the years after highway patrolmen opened fire on a civil rights protest at the historically black South Carolina State University and killed three black student protesters in 1968. West hired James Clyburn as a senior aide, becoming one of the first governors to hire a black man to such a position. He later tapped Clyburn to run the new State Human Affairs Commission that he set up in 1972. Clyburn went on to become the state's first black U.S. representative since Reconstruction. West also pushed plans through the legislature to create the state's second medical school at the University of South Carolina. He was later appointed by Pres. Jimmy Carter to serve as ambassador to Saudi Arabia (1977-81).
West, Roy Owen (b. Oct. 27, 1868, Georgetown, Ill. - d. Nov. 29, 1958, Chicago, Ill.), U.S. politician. Long a leader of the conservative wing of the Republican Party, he was secretary of the Republican National Committee from 1924 to 1928. He was secretary of the interior in 1928-29 in the administration of Pres. Calvin Coolidge. During and after World War II he was a special assistant to the U.S. attorney general, hearing cases of conscientious objectors to military service.
Westendorp (y Cabeza), Carlos (b. Jan. 7, 1937, Madrid, Spain), foreign minister of Spain (1995-96) and international high representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina (1997-99). He succeeded Sweden's Carl Bildt as the top international mediator in Bosnia with overall responsibility for the implementation of the Dayton peace agreement. At a 1997 peace implementation conference in Bonn the international community granted Westendorp additional powers which he used extensively to impose important legislation and remove local officials who obstructed the peace process. He removed Bosnian Serb president Nikola Poplasen from office in 1999 over his refusal to nominate a Bosnian Serb prime minister-designate able to secure a parliamentary majority. In 2004-08 Westendorp was Spanish ambassador to the United States.
Westerwelle, Guido (b. Dec. 27, 1961, Bad Honnef, West Germany), vice chancellor (2009-11) and foreign minister (2009-13) of Germany. He was general secretary (1994-2001) and chairman (2001-11) of the Free Democratic Party.
Westman, Karl Gustaf (b. Aug. 18, 1876, Göteborg, Sweden - d. Jan. 24, 1944, Stockholm, Sweden), foreign minister of Sweden (1936). He was also minister of education (1914-17) and justice (1936-43).
Westmoreland, William C(hilds) (b. March 26, 1914, Spartanburg county, S.C. - d. July 18, 2005, Charleston, S.C.), U.S. general. A 1936 graduate of the United States Military Academy (West Point), he participated in the World War II Normandy invasion. He served in the Korean War and from 1960 to 1963 was superintendent of West Point. He commanded (1964-68) U.S. forces in South Vietnam in the Vietnam War. During his command, U.S. involvement grew from a few thousand advisors and technicians to more than 500,000 American troops. From 1968 to 1972, he was army chief of staff. In 1974 he unsuccessfully sought the South Carolina Republican gubernatorial nomination. In 1982 he lodged a suit against CBS over a television documentary contending that he had deliberately misrepresented enemy troop strength during the Vietnam War. In February 1985, however, only days before the highly publicized case was to go to the jury, Westmoreland dropped the suit.
Weston, Hilary M(ary), née Frayne (b. Jan. 12, 1942, Dublin, Ireland), lieutenant governor of Ontario (1997-2002). The business executive and author was a prominent supporter of charitable and arts organizations. She served as founding chair of the Ireland Fund of Canada, co-founder and chair of the Canadian Environmental Education Foundation, founding chair of the Mabin School, and chair of the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Council. Her outstanding contribution to community life was recognized with awards from the Ireland Fund of Canada and the Variety Club of Ontario. She also co-authored two best-selling books, In a Canadian Garden and At Home in Canada.
Weston, Sir (Philip) John (b. April 13, 1938), British diplomat; knighted 1991. He was permanent representative to NATO (1992-95) and the United Nations (1995-98).
Westwood, (Frances) Jean M(iles), née Miles (b. Nov. 22, 1923, Price, Utah - d. Aug. 18, 1997, American Fork, Utah), U.S. politician. She was elected Utah Democratic national committeewoman in 1968 and 1972 and was vice chairwoman of the Western States Democratic Conference from 1968 to 1970. She became the first chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee following the presidential nomination of Sen. George McGovern in 1972. She served in the post for about six months. From 1976 to 1995 she lived in Arizona, where she served on the State Economic and Development Board and was an adviser to Bruce Babbitt while he was governor.
Wetangula, Moses (Masika) (b. Sept. 13, 1956, western Kenya), foreign minister of Kenya (2008-12). In 2012-13 he was trade minister.
Wetherell, Gordon (Geoffrey) (b. Nov. 11, 1948, Ethiopia), governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands (2008-11). He was British ambassador to Ethiopia (1997-2000; also non-resident ambassador to Eritrea and Djibouti) and Luxembourg (2000-04) and high commissioner to Ghana (2004-07; also non-resident ambassador to Togo, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Côte d'Ivoire).
Weygand, Maxime, name before adoption Antoine Marie Maxime de Nimal (b. Jan. 21, 1867, Brussels, Belgium - d. Jan. 28, 1965, Paris, France), French high commissioner of Syria and Lebanon (1923-24) and governor-general of Algeria (1941).
Weyler (y Nicolau), Valeriano, marqués (marquess) de Tenerife, duque del Rubí (b. Sept. 17, 1838, Palma, Majorca, Spain - d. Oct. 20, 1930, Madrid, Spain), Spanish general. After attending the Infantry College at Toledo, he was sent to Cuba, and later took part (1863) in the fighting in Santo Domingo, which followed the reassertion of Spanish control there. Having served brilliantly against the Cuban rebels (1868-72), he returned to Spain in 1873 as brigadier general, fought the Carlists (Bourbon traditionalists) in the eastern provinces (1875-76), and was promoted general of division, elected senator, and created marqués de Tenerife. He was governor of the Canary Islands (1878-83) and of the Balearic Islands (1883-86) and governor-general of the Philippines (1888-91), where he dealt sternly with the native rebels of the Carolines, of Mindanao, and other provinces. Returning to Spain (1892), he crushed agitations in the Basque provinces and in Navarra. He was governor of Catalonia in 1893-96. On the failure of Arsenio Martínez Campos to quell the Cuban revolt caused by the suspension of constitutional guarantees (February 1895), Weyler was sent out as governor in 1896. His policy of inexorable repression, involving the detention of most of the rural inhabitants in concentration camps, aroused international protests, and U.S. newspapers inflamed public opinion against Spanish rule of Cuba. A new liberal government in Spain recalled him in 1897. Back in Spain, he held a variety of posts including minister of war (1901-02, 1905, 1906-07), again governor of Catalonia (1909-14, 1920), and army commander in chief (1921-23). In 1926 he supported an abortive plot against the regime of Miguel Primo de Rivera and was temporarily placed under surveillance.