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R. B. Strassburger

tennis player
Full name: Ralph Beaver Strassburger
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Bio He was the eldest son of Jacob Andrew Strassburger and Mary Jane Beaver.
He received his preliminary education in the public and private schools of Norristown, graduating from the High School in 1899. He then studied at Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire, for two years, during which time he secured high honors in athletics.
He was selected as a member of the famous football team, in 1900, which defeated Andover 10-6. Every member of this Phillips Exeter team subsequently became a member of a leading university team. In 1901, Mr. Strassburger was appointed to the United States Naval Academy by the Honorable I. P. Wanger, from his home district, now the Eighth Congressional District of Pennsylvania. During his Annapolis days he kept up his prestige in athletics, playing for four years on the football team with great distinction. In 1902, he was chosen substitute for the All-American Team of that year, having scored all the points for Annapolis in the memorable Army and Navy game played at Philadelphia. Upon his graduation from Annapolis, in 1905, he was ordered to sea, having the honor of being chosen to serve under Rear Admiral W. B. Brownson, United States Navy, the former Superintendent at the Naval Academy. His vessel was the new flagship of the armored cruiser squadron, the U. S. S. West Virginia. After two years at sea, he received promotion to the rank of Ensign. He next saw service on the U. S. Battleship Connecticut, under command of Admiral Robley D. Evans, and was attached to the Presidential yacht Mayflower of the United States Navy, in 1907, during the incumbency of the late Theodore Roosevelt. Ensign Strassburger also served on the fast scout cruiser Birmingham during the conduct of the competitive engineering tests between the United States Cruiser Salem and the U. S. S. Chester.
In 1909, after eight years' service, he left the Navy to accept a position in the marine department of the Babcock & Wilcox Company, manufacturers of most of the steam boilers installed for the American, English, and Italian navies, as well as for the navies of Brazil, Argentina, and several smaller nations. Incidental to this phase of his career, a story is related which forcibly illustrates Mr. Strassburger's cool and courageous conduct in a dangerous emergency. During the progress of the builders' trial trip of the newly completed U. S. Battleship North Dakota, a header blew out causing the death of two men and scalding several others. He promptly entered the chamber and, regardless of personal danger, was enabled to isolate the boiler, thereby saving many lives and, in all probability, the ship itself.

At the outbreak of the Balkan War, in 1913, Mr. Strassburger entered the diplomatic service and, after passing the required examination, was appointed by President Taft as Consul General and Secretary of Legation to Romania, Bulgaria, and Serbia. Following this he was promoted to the post of Second Secretary of the Embassy at Tokio, Japan. Upon the accession of the Democratic Party to political supremacy with the election of Woodrow Wilson as President, he retired from the foreign service after the appointment of William J. Bryan as Secretary of State. Always active and influential in Republican politics, Mr. Strassburger has been prominent as an ardent party supporter and follower of the regular Republican State organization. In 1914, he was a candidate for the United States House of Representatives in the Republican primaries, but was defeated by Honorable Henry W. Watson by a slight majority.

Mr. Strassburger is the owner and publisher of the Norristown Herald, one of the oldest dailies in the State of Pennsylvania, having been founded in 1799. There have been but four or five owners of this paper during its 123 years of existence. It is one of the best known dailies in the country and is renowned for its conservative editorials and its support of the principles of the Republican Party.
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