Kansas has been the home of four nominees for President of the United States. The Communist party candidate, Earl Browder, the only one of the four born in the state, is seldom mentioned there. Prohibitionist John P. St. John, who ran for the office in 1884, is commonly regarded as a curiosity. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the only one to be elected, is the pride of Kansas. The state's attitude toward the fourth man, the subject of this biography, is not as easy to categorize. Kansas folk do not always know what to make of Alf Landon.
Alfred Mossman Landon's immediate family background and ancestry might have been made to order for a presidential nominee. His father was a successful businessman; his mother was a minister's daughter. On both sides of his family he came of Protestant, Englishspeaking stock, and his forebears were men who had fought in the wars against the British, who had pushed westward with the frontier, and who had farmed, taught school, preached the Gospel, and played the role of responsible citizens in the communities in which they had put down roots.
French, English, and German strains mingled in his father, John, a descendant of Landons who had emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 1640s to escape the troubles of the English civil war.