Samuel Jones Tilden was an American politician who served as the 25th Governor of New York and was the Democratic candidate for president in the disputed 1876 United States presidential election. Tilden was the second presidential candidate to lose the election despite winning the popular vote and is the only person to win a majority of the popular vote in a United States presidential election but lose the election.
Tilden was born into a wealthy family in New Lebanon, New York. Attracted to politics at a young age, he became a protégé of Martin Van Buren, the eighth President of the United States. After studying at Yale University and New York University School of Law, Tilden began a legal career in New York City, becoming a noted corporate lawyer. He served in the New York State Assembly and helped launch Van Buren's third party, anti-slavery candidacy in the 1848 United States presidential election. Although he opposed Abraham Lincoln in the 1860 United States presidential election, Tilden supported the Union during the American Civil War.