Open main menu

Frank Henry Buck (September 23, 1887 – September 17, 1942) was an American heir, businessman and politician. He served as U.S. Representative from California from 1933 to 1942.

Frank H. Buck
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 3rd district
In office
March 4, 1933 – September 17, 1942
Preceded byCharles F. Curry, Jr.
Succeeded byJustin L. Johnson
Personal details
BornSeptember 23, 1887
Vacaville, California
DiedSeptember 17, 1942(1942-09-17) (aged 54)
Washington, D.C.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Zayda Zabriskie
Eva M. Benson


Early lifeEdit

Frank Buck was born on a ranch near Vacaville, California on September 23, 1887.[1][2] His grandfather, Leonard W. Buck, was the founder of the Buck Company, a fruit-growing company, who had been elected to the California State Senate in 1895.[2] He attended the public schools.[1] He was a member of the Theta Delta Chi fraternity, and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1908 and from the law department of Harvard University in 1911.[1][2] He was admitted to the bar the same year and commenced practice in San Francisco, California.[1][2]


He was involved in business ventures including fruit growing, oil refining, and lumber, partly thanks to his inheritance.[1][2]

In 1900, together with Burton E. Green (1868-1965), Charles A. Canfield (1848-1913), Max Whittier (1867–1928), William F. Herrin (1854-1927), Henry E. Huntington (1850-1927), William G. Kerckhoff (1856–1929), W.S. Porter and Frank H. Balch, known as the Amalgated Oil Company, he purchased Rancho Rodeo de las Aguas from Henry Hammel and Andrew H. Denker and renamed it Morocco Junction.[3] After drilling for oil and only finding water, they reorganized their business into the Rodeo Land and Water Company to develop a new residential town later known as Beverly Hills, California.[3]

He became the leader of the newly founded California Grower's and Shipper's Protective League, a lobbying organization to protect the rights of fruit and vegetable growers.[2] In 1933, he sold the Buck Company, his grandfather's company, to the Pacific Fruit Exchange.[2]


He served as delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1928, 1936, and 1940.[1] In 1932, he was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives.[1] He served in Congress from March 4, 1933 until his death in Washington, D.C. on September 17, 1942.[1] He is credited with naming the Social Security program.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

He married Zayda Zabriskie (daughter of Christian Brevoort Zabriskie) in 1911 and they had four children, Frank Henry Buck III (1912-1993), Margaret Ann Buck(1913-), Christian Brevoort Zabriskie Buck (1914-1995) and Edward Zabriskie Elvis Buck (1917-1964). After they divorced, he married Eva Mathilde Benson in 1926,[2] and they had two children, William Benson Buck and Carol Franz Buck (1936-). He died on September 17, 1942, while still in office.[5]

He was interred in Vacaville-Elmira Cemetery, in Vacaville, California.[1][2] His wife, Eva Benson Buck, founded the Frank H. Buck Scholarship, which is awarded each year to eight to 16 high school seniors, who have to live in his former congressional district.[2] She was an active philanthropist until her death in 1990.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i United States Congress biography
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Buck Foundation". Archived from the original on 2013-08-16. Retrieved 2013-04-25.
  3. ^ a b Marc Wanamaker, Early Beverly Hills, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing, 2005, pp. 17-18 [1]
  4. ^ Social Security History
  5. ^ "$600,000 Estate of Congressman Filed". The Petaluma Argus-Courier. Petaluma, California. October 6, 1942. p. 8.
  6. ^ Clader, Fran (June 9, 1990). "Death claims altruist Eva Buck". The Vacaville Reporter.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Charles F. Curry, Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Justin L. Johnson

  This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website