Frank Lausche: Faith, Politics, and Baseball

The 20th century is rich with significant national and worldly history. The Great Depression, both World Wars, the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, and the introduction of the personal computer are just a few examples. Not many people have been alive to see all of these events take place. However, Frank Lausche is a member of the rare group of people who can say they did! Lausche was born in 1895 and passed away in 1990 making him 95 years old at his time of death. Lausche saw nearly a century of history happen around him, and he was part of that history as well. 


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Frank Lausche later in his career


Lausche was born on November 14th, 1895 in Cleveland, OH to Frances and Louis Lausche, who were originally from Slovenia. Lausche attended school throughout his childhood; however, as Lausche was attending high school his brother passed away, forcing Lausche to drop out in an effort to support his family. When he wasn’t working, Lausche enjoyed playing baseball. One day, while Lausche was playing, he was scouted and recruited to join The White Motors amateur team. The White Motors soon won a national championship, which resulted in Lausche being recruited for yet another team—the Duluth White Sox. After playing with a few other minor league teams, in 1917 Lausche decided to enlist in the United States Army.  


Stationed in Camp Gordon near Atlanta, Georgia, Lausche was asked to join the camp baseball team. His superior performance on the team prevented him from being sent overseas to the frontlines of World War One. When the War ended in 1918, having completed high school while in the Army, Lausche decided to attend Cleveland-Marshall School of Law in 1919. He graduated in 1920, second in his class, and soon became a respected trial lawyer before becoming a municipal court judge in 1932, and a common pleas court judge in 1937.   


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Camp Gordon circa 1918


In 1941 Lausche was elected the Mayor of Cleveland. Soon after, in 1944 he was elected as the governor of Ohio, making Lausche Ohio’s first Catholic governor. He served as governor from 1944-1947. In 1957 he resigned as governor after being elected as a United States Senator representing Ohio. He was known for being very bipartisan and for taking an independent approach to politics. This made Lausche very popular among voters, and led to his reelection as a Senator in 1962. Lausche was so popular, in fact, that there is even evidence suggesting Lausche was considered to be Dwight D. Eisenhower’s presidential running mate in 1952.                    

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The Frank Lausche Building in Downtown Cleveland 


Frank Lausche passed away in 1990 due to congestive heart failure. However, his legacy lives on—if you ever visit downtown Cleveland, you’ll notice that several buildings bear his last name, including the State of Ohio office building. Frank Lausche was also named a Knight of St. John of Malta by Pope John Paul 2, the highest civilian honor that can be bestowed by the Catholic Church.  Frank Lausche serves as a great example of someone who put their God and country first.


Frank Lausche is buried at Calvary Cemetery in Cleveland, OH.  


       Visit Frank Lausche’s grave here.      

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Pictures gathered from:
Post written by Katie Karpinski



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