Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

Leslie M. Shaw (1902–1907): Secretary of the Treasury

Born on a family farm in Morriston, Vermont, in 1848, Leslie Shaw graduated from Cornell College in 1874. Two years later, he received a diploma from the Iowa College of Law. Soon thereafter, Shaw became a prominent member of society, founding the bank of Denison, opening a law practice, becoming a Methodist lay leader, serving as school board president, and establishing the Denison Normal and Business College.

Shaw's entrance into politics came in 1897 with a run for the Iowa governorship. He won election as a dark-horse candidate by 7.5 percent of the vote and completed two terms as governor. President Theodore Roosevelt nominated Shaw as secretary of the treasury, partly because he saw Shaw as a potential political rival. Shaw served at the Treasury Department from January 7, 1902, to March 4, 1907, after which he worked in the financial sector. Leslie Shaw died in Washington, D.C., on March 28, 1932, at the age of 83.