Gillis William Long

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Gillis William Long
Gillis William Long.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 8th district
In office
January 3, 1973 – January 20, 1985
Preceded bySpeedy O. Long
Succeeded byCatherine Small Long
In office
January 3, 1963 – January 3, 1965
Preceded byHarold B. McSween
Succeeded bySpeedy O. Long
Personal details
Born(1923-05-04)May 4, 1923
Winnfield, Louisiana, U.S.
DiedJanuary 20, 1985(1985-01-20) (aged 61)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Cause of deathHeart failure
Resting placeAlexandria National Cemetery, Pineville, Louisiana
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Catherine Small Long (1924-2019)
Children2
EducationLouisiana State University (BA, JD)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
Years of service1941-1947
RankUS-O3 insignia.svg Captain
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsBronze Star Medal
Purple Heart
Campaign medal (5)

Gillis William Long (May 4, 1923 - January 20, 1985) was an American politician and lawyer who served as a U.S. Representative from Louisiana. He was a member of the Long family and was the nephew of former governors Huey Long and Earl Long and the cousin of Senator Russell B. Long.

Early Life[edit]

Long was born on May 4, 1923 in Winnfield, Louisiana, to Floyd Harrison Long and Birdie Long. His family moved to Pineville when he was a teenager and he attended Bolton High School. When his cousin Earl Long was running for Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana Gillis gave campaign speeches for him at his school.[1]

In 1939 Long attended Louisiana State University for law, but was interrupted when he enlisted into the army in 1941 as a private. During World War Two he received a bronze star, five campaign stars, and the Purple Heart and served at the Nuremberg trials before being discharged as a captain in 1947. Later that year he married Catherine Small and four years later graduated from college with a bachelor and law degree.[2]

Political Career[edit]

In 1962 he was elected to the House of Representatives from Louisiana's eighth congressional district and was selected to be the assistant Democratic Whip.[3] In 1963 he entered the Democratic primary for the gubernatorial race, but came in third place with 15% of the vote.[4] In 1964 he attempted to win reelection, but was defeated by his more openly segregationist cousin Speedy Long.[5] In 1971 he entered the Democratic primary for the gubernatorial race again, but came in third place again with 13% of the vote.

After his cousin Speedy Long retired from office, Gillis Long decided to run for the House seat he had once held. He won and was re-elected six additional times. He rose to the position of Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, which he held from 1981 to 1984. During the 1984 presidential primaries Long endorsed former vice president Walter Mondale.[6]

On January 20, 1985 Long died from heart failure in Washington, D.C and a moment of silence was given for him at Ronald Reagan's second presidential inauguration.[7] In 1994 he was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gillis Long Throwing Out Political Rules in Campaign". The Shreveport Journal. 22 November 1963. p. 32. Archived from the original on 25 November 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  2. ^ "Gilis: No Long Has Lost a Bid". Daily World. 28 July 1963. p. 5. Archived from the original on 24 November 2019. Retrieved 25 November 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ "The Making Of A". The Morning News. 24 November 1963. p. 2. Archived from the original on 25 November 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ "Another Long". The Des Moines Register. 26 August 1963. p. 14. Archived from the original on 25 November 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ "Cousin Speedy beats Rep. Long". The Morning News. 27 July 1964. p. 2. Archived from the original on 25 November 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ "Congressman Gillis W. Long Dies At 61". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 22 January 1985. p. 16. Archived from the original on 27 November 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ "Ronald Reagan: Second Inaugural Address". 20 January 1985. Archived from the original on 7 August 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  8. ^ "Hall of Fame Inductees". 3 July 2009. Archived from the original on 3 July 2009.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Harold B. McSween
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 8th congressional district

1963–1965
Succeeded by
Speedy O. Long
Preceded by
Speedy O. Long
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 8th congressional district

1973–1985
Succeeded by
Catherine Small Long