William J. Bryan (March 19, 1860 - July 26, 1925) was an American lawyer, statesman, and politician. He was a three-time Democratic Party nominee for President of the United States noted for his deep, commanding voice. Bryan was a devout Presbyterian, a strong proponent of popular democracy, an outspoken critic of banks and railroads, a leader of the silverite movement in the 1890s, a dominant figure in the Democratic Party, a peace advocate, a prohibitionist, an opponent of Darwinism, and one of the most prominent leaders of the Progressive Movement. He was called "The Great Commoner" because of his total faith in the goodness and rightness of the common people.
He was one of the most energetic campaigners in American history, inventing the national stumping tour. In his presidential bids, he promoted Free Silver in 1896, anti-imperialism in 1900, and antitrust in 1908, calling on all Democrats to renounce conservatism, fight the trusts and big banks, and embrace progressive ideas. President Woodrow Wilson appointed him Secretary of State in 1913, but Bryan resigned in protest against Wilson's policies in 1915. In the 1920s he was a strong supporter of Prohibition, but is probably best known today for his negative criticism of Darwinism, which culminated in the Scopes Trial in 1925.