Donald Hiss

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Donald Hiss
Born (1906-12-15)December 15, 1906
Baltimore, Maryland
Died May 18, 1989(1989-05-18) (aged 82)
St. Michaels, Maryland
Cause of death
Lung cancer
Education Johns Hopkins University
Harvard Law School
Occupation lawyer, government official
Employer Agricultural Adjustment Administration (1933-1935), U.S. Department of State (1936-1945), Covington & Burling (1945-1976)
Political party
Democratic
Spouse(s) Catherine G. Jones (1929-1996)
Children Bosley Hiss
Cynthia Hiss Grace
Joanna Hiss Hoople
Parents Mary Lavinia Hughes
Charles Alger Hiss
Relatives Bosley Hiss, brother
Alger Hiss, brother
Anna Hiss, sister

Donald Hiss (December 15, 1906 - May 18, 1989) was the younger brother of Alger Hiss, who in 1948 was accused of—but not charged with—spying for the Soviet Union, and who in 1950 was controversially convicted of perjury before the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Early life[edit]

Donald Hiss was born on December 15, 1906, in Baltimore, Maryland. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University and the Harvard Law School.[1]

Career[edit]

Early career: government[edit]

In 1932, he was a law secretary to Associate Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes of the United States Supreme Court.

From 1933 to 1935, he was employed by the Agricultural Adjustment Administration of the United States Department of Labor.[1] In 1934, he was also attached to a special U.S. Senate committee investigating the munitions industry.

In 1935, he was employed as a special attorney by the United States Department of Justice.

On September 18, 1936, he was appointed an assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State and worked in the State Department throughout World War II.

In 1945, he joined the law firm of Covington & Burling. [2]

Hiss Case[edit]

On August 3, 1948, Whittaker Chambers included the name of Donald Hiss along with his brother Alger and more than half a dozen other former Federal officials as members of the Ware Group and of the Communist Party when testifying under subpoena to HUAC.[3]

On August 7, 1948, he stated to the committee, "I can give you the general impression. He was much less intelligent than Alger. Much less sensitive than his brother."[3][4]

On August 13, 1948, like his brother and also Harry Dexter White, he denied the allegation, stating:

I flatly deny every statement made by Mr. Chambers with respect to me. I am not, and never have been, a member of the Communist Party or of any formal or informal organizations affiliated with, or fronting in any manner whatsoever for, the Communist Party. In fact, the only organizations and clubs to which I have belonged are the local Y.M.C.A., the Miles River Yacht Club of Maryland, the old Washington Racquet Club, the Harvard Law School Association, the American Society of International Law, and college fraternities and athletic clubs.
I have no recollection of ever having met any person by the name of D . Whittaker Chambers, nor do I recognize his photograph which I have seen in the public press. I am not and never have been in sympathy with the principles of the Communist Party... I have never known that man by the name of Chambers, Carl, or any other name...
If I am lying, I should go to jail, and if Mr . Chambers is lying, he should go to jail."[3][4]

Unlike his brother Alger, Donald was never indicted.[2][5][6]

Later career: private law[edit]

Donald Hiss spent the remainder of his career in private law practice with Covington & Burling. His expertise lay in international trade and tariff law.[2]

He also taught international law at Catholic University and at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.[2]

He retired in 1976.[2][5][7] Dean Acheson, who famously defended the reputation of Alger Hiss, was also a member of Covington & Burling.

Death[edit]

Hiss died of lung cancer on May 18, 1989, in St. Michaels, Maryland.[1][2][5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Fowler, Glenn (May 20, 1989). "Donald Hiss, 82, Ex-U.S. Official And Lawyer in Washington Firm". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-28. "Donald Hiss, a retired Washington lawyer and Government official, died of lung cancer Thursday at his home in St. Michaels, Md. He was 92 years old." 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Donald Hiss Dies at 82; Trade, Tariff Law Specialist". Washington Post. 19 May 1989. 
  3. ^ a b c Chambers, Whittaker (1952). Witness. New York: Random House. pp. 418, 469, 543, 552, 568–571 (quote 570), 576 (testimony 576–577), 624, 633fn, 646, 689, 765. ISBN 52-5149 Check |isbn= value (help). 
  4. ^ a b "Hearings regarding Communist espionage in the United States Government. Hearings". Archive.org. Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c "Donald Hiss, Brother of Alger, Was Accused of Spying". Associated Press. 20 May 1989. 
  6. ^ "Donald Hiss, 82, Brother of Alger, Was Accused...". Orlando Sentinel. 22 May 1989. 
  7. ^ "Donald Hiss, 82; accused as a spy with brother Alger". Chicago Sun-Times. 21 May 1989. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Chambers, Whittaker (1952). Witness. New York: Random House. pp. 799 (total). ISBN 52-5149 Check |isbn= value (help). 
  • John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, Yale University Press

External links[edit]