December 15, 1906|
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
|Died||May 18, 1989
St. Michaels, Maryland, U.S.
|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)|
|Spouse(s)||Catherine G. Jones (1929-1996)|
Cynthia Hiss Grace
Joanna Hiss Hoople
|Parent(s)||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 (HUAC).
Early career: government
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. 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.
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.
On August 13, 1948, like his brother and Harry Dexter White, Hiss 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."
Later career: private law
Donald Hiss spent the remainder of his career in private law practice with Covington & Burling. His expertise lay in international trade and tariff law. He taught international law at Catholic University and at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
- 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.
- "Donald Hiss Dies at 82; Trade, Tariff Law Specialist". Washington Post. May 19, 1989.
- 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. LCCN 52005149.
- "Hearings regarding Communist espionage in the United States Government. Hearings". Archive.org. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- "Donald Hiss, Brother of Alger, Was Accused of Spying". Associated Press. 20 May 1989.
- "Donald Hiss, 82, Brother of Alger, Was Accused...". Orlando Sentinel. May 22, 1989.
- "Donald Hiss, 82; accused as a spy with brother Alger". Chicago Sun-Times. May 21, 1989.
- Chambers, Whittaker (1952). Witness. New York: Random House. pp. 799 (total). LCCN 52005149.
- John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, Yale University Press