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Allan Louis Benson (November 6, 1871–August 19, 1940) was an American newspaper editor and author who ran for President as the Socialist Party of America candidate in 1916.

Benson was born in Plainfield, Michigan in 1871. He was at times managing editor of the Detroit Journal, the Detroit Times, and the Washington Times. He married Mary Hugh in Windsor, Ontario on November 19, 1899 and had four children.

In 1916, after Eugene V Debs Debs declined the nomination for the Presidential candidacy, Benson was nominated by a direct mail vote of party members. He was an anti-war voice in the years leading up to World War I; one of the planks of his Presidential campaign platform was that war should be only entered into by national referendum. However, when the Socialist Party of America issued a manifesto placing equal blame on Germany and the allies, he resigned from the party.

Benson wrote several books and notable political pamphlets:

  • Socialism Made Plain (1904)
  • The Usurped Power of the Courts (1911) -- sold 1 million copy
  • The Growing Grocery Bill (1912) -- sold 1.7 million copies
  • The Truth about Socialism (1913) -- nine editions
  • Our Dishonest Constitution (1914)
  • A Way to Prevent War (1915)
  • Inviting War to America (1916)
  • The New Henry Ford (1923),
  • The Story of Geology (1927)
  • Daniel Webster (1929)

Benson died in Yonkers, New York, on August 19, 1940.



Socialist Party of America Presidential Candidate
Socialist party of america logo Preceded by:
Eugene V Debs
1904,1908,1912
Allan Benson
1916
Succeeded by:
Eugene V Debs
1920

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