After returning from World War I, Wendell Wilkie joined an Akron, OH, law firm, moving later to a firm in New York City. In 1933 he was named president of the Commonwealth and Southern Corporation, a utilities holding company that spread over 11 states. He was given credit for keeping the company from failing in competition with the government-owned Tennessee Valley Authority. His action made him a recognized critic of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal and economic policies. Wilkie lost to Roosevelt in the 1940 presidential election and afterwards supported his defense policies but was critical of other issues. He advocated postwar international cooperation, which alienated him from the Republican stronghold.