Claude A. Watson: Prohibition Party Candidate

A National Leader

Claude A. Watson was a national leader of the prohibition movement. He was Prohibition Party candidate for vice-president of the US in 1936. Next, he was the Party’s presidential candidate in both 1944 and 1948

During the 1944 election he asked why the president denied him approval for wartime air flight. After reporters asked Roosevelt about it, Watson received the necessary permission. Claude A. Watson was the first U.S. presidential candidate to fly his own airplane. He flew over 16,000 miles campaigning.

During the 1948 presidential campaign, Watson sent his wife to the White House. She was to measure for window curtains and other interior furnishings. In case he won the election? A publicity stunt.

Claude A. Watson

Claude A. Watson
Claude A. Watson

Claude Watson was born in Wexford County, MI on June 26, 1885. He was the son of Joseph A. Watson and Emma Jane (Dove) Watson.

On December 27, 1911, he married Maude L. Hagar. He graduated from Alma College. For a time he was a minor league baseball player.

Watson moved to Los Angeles, where he had a successful law practice. He was licensed to practice before the Federal and US Supreme courts.

Learn about other Prohibition Party candidates.

Became Minister

Dr. Watson became an ordained minister. It was in the Free Methodist Church. He was also a church conference head. The origin of his title of “Dr.” is unclear. It may have been an honorary one. Perhaps granted by a religious college, bible college or seminary.

Claude A. Watson’s publications reflected his commitment to both politics and religion.

Prohibition Party candidate Claude A. Watson died in Los Angeles on January 3, 1978. He was 92. He left his wife, Maude L. Watson. Also three children, ten grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.