Warren Gamaliel Harding (November 2, 1865 – August 2, 1923) was the 29th President of the United States (1921–23). A Republican from Ohio, Harding was an influential self-made newspaper publisher. He served in the Ohio Senate (1899–1903), as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ohio (1903–05) and as a U.S. Senator (1915–21). He was also the first incumbent United States Senator and the first newspaper publisher to be elected President.
His conservativism, affable manner, and "make no enemies" campaign strategy made Harding the compromise choice at the 1920 Republican National Convention. During his presidential campaign, in the aftermath of World War I, he promised a return of the nation to "normalcy". This "America first" campaign encouraged industrialization and a strong economy independent of foreign influence. Harding departed from the progressive movement that had dominated Congress since President Theodore Roosevelt. In the 1920 election, he and his running mate, Calvin Coolidge, defeated Democrat and fellow Ohioan James M. Cox, in the largest presidential popular vote landslide in American history (60.36% to 34.19%) since first recorded in 1824.
President Harding rewarded friends and political contributors, referred to as the Ohio Gang, with financially powerful positions. Scandals and corruption eventually pervaded his administration; one of his own cabinet and several of his appointees were eventually tried, convicted, and sent to prison for bribery or defrauding the federal government. Harding did however make some notably positive appointments to his cabinet.