The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Straus, Oscar Solomon

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STRAUS, Oscar Solomon, American merchant and diplomat, brother of Isidor and Nathan Straus (qq.v.); b. Otterberg, Bavaria, 23 Dec. 1850. A resident of Georgia from 1854 to 1865, he was graduated from Columbia University in 1871 and from its law school in 1873. He engaged in mercantile life for a time with his father's firm, but found leisure for literary and educational work. He was appointed United States Minister to Turkey 1887-98 and 1898-1900, in 1902, a member of the Permanent Counrt of International Arbitration at The Hague and in 1906 he became Secretary of Commerce and Labor in the Roosevelt Cabinet. He was Ambassador to Turkey (1909-10); and Progressive candidate for governor of New York State; and he arbitrated the dispute between the engineers and managers of the eastern railroads (1914). The following year he became chairman of the public service commission of New York State. He is president of the American Jewish Historical Society and has published ‘The Origin of Republican Form of Government of the United States’ (1886); ‘Roger Williams’ (1894); ‘The Development of Religious Liberty in the United States’ (1896); ‘Reform in the Consular Service’ (1897); ‘United States Doctrine of Citizenship’ (1901); ‘Our Diplomacy with Reference to our Foreign Service’ (1902); ‘The American Spirit’ (1913).