Cordell Hull (October 2, 1871–July 23, 1955) was an American politician from the U.S. state of Tennessee. He is best-known as the longest-serving Secretary of State, holding the position for 11 years (1933–1944) in the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Hull received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1945 for his role in establishing the United Nations, and was referred to by President Roosevelt as the Father of the United Nations.
Hull was born in a log cabin in Olympus, which is now part of Pickett County, Tennessee, but was then part of Overton County. He became the elected chairman of the Clay County Democratic Party at the age of 19.
In 1891, Hull graduated from Cumberland School of Law at Cumberland University and was admitted to the bar as a teenager. He served in the Tennessee House of Representatives from 1893 to 1897. During the Spanish-American War, he served in Cuba as a captain in the Fourth Regiment of the Tennessee Volunteer Infantry.
Hull served 11 terms in the United States House of Representatives (1907–1921 and 1923–1931) and authored the federal income tax laws of 1913 and 1916 and the inheritance tax of 1916. After an electoral defeat in 1920, Hull served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He was elected to the Senate in 1930, but resigned upon being named Secretary of State in 1933.
In 1933 Hull was appointed Secretary of State by Franklin D. Roosevelt; he served 11 years until he retired from public office. Hull became the underlying force and architect in the creation of the United Nations, drafting, along with his staff, the United Nations Charter in mid-1943. He resigned as Secretary of State in November 1944 because of failing health.
In 1945 Cordell Hull was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for "co-initiating the United Nations".
Hull died after suffering several strokes and heart attacks in 1955 in Washington, D.C., and is buried in the vault of the Chapel of St. Joseph of Arimathea in the Wash...