Cordell Hull, the 47th Secretary of State of the United States, was born Oct. 2, 1871, in a log cabin in Olympus, Tenn., near Byrdstown.
After studying in Kentucky and Ohio, Hull earned his law degree from Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tenn., and at age 20 was elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives. He resigned his position to serve in the Spanish-American War, leading volunteers stationed in Cuba. After his return, Hull became a circuit judge, and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1907.
Hull served in Congress for more than 20 years, followed by two years in the U.S. Senate. Newly elected President Franklin D. Roosevelt chose Hull as his Secretary of State in 1933. He served until the end of November 1944, when ill health forced his resignation. He remains the longest-serving Secretary of State in U.S. history, working with Roosevelt through the Second World War.
Cordell Hull died July 23, 1955, at age 83. A 5¢ commemorative stamp honoring him was issued Oct. 5, 1963 (Scott 1235).