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William Averell Harriman (November 15, 1891  – July 26, 1986) was an American Democratic Party politician, businessman, and diplomat. He was the son of railroad baron E. H. Harriman. He served as Secretary of Commerce under President Harry S. Truman and later as the 48th Governor of New York. He was a candidate for the Democratic Presidential Nomination in 1952, and again in 1956 when he was endorsed by President Truman but lost to Adlai Stevenson. Harriman served President Franklin D. Roosevelt as special envoy to Europe and served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union and U.S. Ambassador to Britain. He served in various positions in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.

William Averell Harriman was born in New York City, the son of railroad baron Edward Henry Harriman and Mary Williamson Averell, and brother of E. Roland Harriman. Harriman was a close friend of Hall Roosevelt (brother of Eleanor Roosevelt).

During the summer of 1899, Harriman's father organized the Harriman Alaska Expedition, a philanthropic-scientific survey of coastal Alaska and Russia that attracted twenty-five of the leading scientific, naturalist and artist luminaries of the day, including John Muir, John Burroughs, George Bird Grinnell, C. Hart Merriam, Grove Karl Gilbert, and Edward Curtis, along with 100 family members and staff, aboard the steamship George Elder. Young Harriman would have his first introduction to Russia, a nation that he would spend a significant amount of attention on in his later life in public service.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "W. Averell Harriman."
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