Charles Gates Dawes

Charles Gates Dawes

U.S. vice president, ambassador, and author of the "Dawes Plan" for managing Germany's reparations payments after World War I. In 1925 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace jointly with Sir Austen Chamberlain.
Educated at Marietta College and Cincinnati Law School, Dawes practiced law in Lincoln, Neb. (1887-94), and then moved to Evanston, which he made his permanent home. He was U.S. comptroller of the currency from 1897 to 1902, when he returned to private business and organized the Central Trust Company of Illinois. During World War I Dawes was head of supply procurement for the American Expeditionary Force in France. He resigned as brigadier general in 1919. In 1921 he was appointed the first U.S. director of the budget.

In 1923, Dawes was appointed by the Allied Reparations Commission to plan a solution for the problem of Germany's inability to pay reparations for their presumed liability for World War I. Dawes presided over a committee of experts that submitted a plan (1924) providing for a reorganization of German finances with the assistance of loans from U.S. investors. This "Dawes Plan" saved Europe from economic collapse for a few years, but it proved to be only a partial solution for the dilemma of world economic disorganization.

Dawes was vice president under Pres. Calvin Coolidge (1925-29), and from 1929 to 1932 he was U.S. ambassador to Great Britain. During the Depression he returned to the U.S. (1932) to direct the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. He resigned the same year and reentered the banking business.

Dawes was the author of several works including A Journal of the Great War (1921), Notes as Vice President (1935), and A Journal of Reparations (1939).


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