Wendell Lewis Willkie (1892-1944) was a corporate lawyer and the Republican candidate for the United States presidency in 1940. He was a high profile businessman, a champion of civil rights for minorities, and, until 1938, a Democrat. He was a strong critic of the New Deal.
As a recent Democrat, the president of a major utility holding corporation, and someone with no political experience, Willkie was unique as a Republican candidate. He lost the 1940 election to the incumbent, President Roosevelt.