1948 : Dewey Defeats Truman, Chicago Tribune Gaff

November 3, 2020 all-day

Truman holding the infamous November 3, 1948 issue of the Chicago Daily Tribune (later Chicago Tribune).

One of the most famous news photographs of all time blares out “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN!” with Truman himself holding up a copy of a newspaper screaming those headlines.

Of course, it was premature, and Truman was declared the victor in that 1948 presidential election.


The ‘Dewey’ in question is Thomas E. Dewey, born in Owosso in 1902. While a senior in high school, Tom was president of his class, loved to debate and was an excellent singer. After graduation, he left Owosso to attend the University of Michigan. His chosen career was to be a vocalist, but after suffering throat problems he shifted his career goal to that of attorney.

Dewey’s career was much more than being edged out as president. He was a prosecuting attorney who successfully prosecuted and jailed some of the most famous criminals of the era like “Lucky” Luciano and Waxey Gordon.

He was elected governor of New York City for three terms: 1942, 1946, and 1950.

Dewey was also instrumental in the nominations and elections of Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard M. Nixon.

There is so much more to this man’s dossier, and you can read more HERE.

Quite an impressive career for this man born in Owosso.

Source : John Robinson, “The Owosso Boyhood Home of Thomas E. Dewey“, 99.1 WFMK Blog, November 11, 2020.