Henry S. Reuss

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Henry Schoellkopf Reuss
Henry S. Reuss.jpg
Image courtesy of the Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 5th district
In office
January 3, 1955 – January 3, 1983
Preceded byCharles J. Kersten
Succeeded byJim Moody
Personal details
Born(1912-02-22)February 22, 1912
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
DiedJanuary 12, 2002(2002-01-12) (aged 89)
San Rafael, California
Resting placeForest Home Cemetery
Political partyDemocratic
Margaret Magrath
(m. 1942)
RelationsHenry Schoellkopf (uncle)
ParentsGustav A. Reuss
Paula Schoellkopf
Alma materCornell University
Harvard Law School
AwardsBronze Star
Military service
AllegianceUnited States of America
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
Battles/warsWorld War II

Henry Schoellkopf Reuss (February 22, 1912 – January 12, 2002) was a Democratic U.S. Representative from Wisconsin.[1]

Early life[edit]

Henry Schoellkopf Reuss was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was the son of Gustav A. Reuss (pronounced Royce) and Paula Schoellkopf (b. 1876).[2] He was the grandson of a Wisconsin bank president who had emigrated to the United States from Germany in 1848.[3][4] Both his mother and uncle, Henry Schoellkopf (1879–1912), were grandchildren of Jacob F. Schoellkopf (1819–1899), a pioneer in harnessing the hydroelectric power of Niagara Falls.[5]

He grew up in Milwaukee's German section. Reuss earned his A.B. from Cornell University in 1933 and was a member of the Sphinx Head Society. He then earned his LL.B. from Harvard Law School in 1936.[1]


He was a lawyer in private practice and business executive. He served as assistant corporation counsel for Milwaukee County, Wisconsin from 1939 to 1940 and Counsel for United States Office of Price Administration from 1941 to 1942.[2]

World War II[edit]

He was in the United States Army from 1943 to 1945, leaving as a major.[1] He was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in the infantry.[6] He served as chief of price control, Office of Military Government for Germany in 1945, and deputy general counsel for the Marshall Plan, Paris, France in 1949. After the War, Reuss became a special prosecutor for Milwaukee County in 1950.[2]

Political career[edit]

In 1950, he left the Republican party due to his antipathy towards Senator Joseph McCarthy. As a Democrat, Reuss waged an unsuccessful primary election campaign to become McCarthy's opponent in the 1952 general election.[6] He attended the 1952 Democratic National Convention as an alternate delegate.[2]

He served as member of the school board for Milwaukee from 1953 to 1954. He served as member of legal advisory committee, United States National Resources Board from 1948 to 1952. He was an unsuccessful candidate for mayor of Milwaukee in 1948 and 1960, losing to Frank Zeidler and Henry Maier, respectively.[2]

Reuss was elected as a Democrat from the 5th district to the Eighty-fourth and to the thirteen succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1955 – January 3, 1983).[1] He served as chairman of the Committee on Banking, Currency, and Housing in the Ninety-fourth Congress. He served as chairman of the Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs in the Ninety-fifth and Ninety-sixth Congresses. He served as chairman of the Joint Economic Committee in the Ninety-seventh Congress.[1][6]

After the 1974 post-Watergate Democratic landslide victories in Congress, Reuss defeated the more senior Wright Patman of Texas as chairman of the House Banking Committee.[6][4] He opposed the war in Vietnam, and supported the campaign of U.S. Senator Eugene J. McCarthy for the 1968 Democratic presidential nomination. He served as an at-large delegate for McCarthy at the Democratic National Convention that year.[7]

Later career[edit]

He was not a candidate for reelection to the Ninety-eighth Congress in 1982. After retiring from Congress, he continued to donate to Democratic campaigns, including to Senator Russ Feingold's and Paul Tsongas's campaigns in 1992. Mrs. Reuss was also an active donor to Democrats and related groups.[8]

Personal life[edit]

The former Reuss Federal Plaza in Milwaukee

In 1942, he married Margaret Magrath (c. 1920–2008).[9] She was an alumna of Bryn Mawr College who earned a master's degree from the University of Chicago in 1944, and a Ph.D. from George Washington University in 1968, both in economics. She worked at the Office of Price Administration in the 1940s, and taught at Federal City College from 1970. University of District of Columbia took over FCC in 1977, and she continued teaching there until she retired in 1985, as department chairman. She served mayor Marion Barry in several capacities, supported the Community for Creative Non-Violence, Emily's List, and various Democrats. They had four children, seven grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.[9][1][6]


For 20 years, beginning in 1983, a 14-story office building in Milwaukee was named Reuss Plaza Federal Office Building (It was later called The Blue and since 2019, 310W.) The National Park Service's Henry Reuss Ice Age Center is located near Dundee, Wisconsin.[1][10]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "The Political Graveyard: Lawyer Politicians in California, Q-R". The Political Graveyard. Lawrence Kestenbaum. Retrieved 2008-09-28.
  2. ^ a b c d e Keene, Anne T. "Reuss, Henry Schoellkopf". www.anb.org. American National Biography Online. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  3. ^ Siracusa, Joseph M. (2012). Encyclopedia of the Kennedys: The People and Events That Shaped America [3 volumes]: The People and Events That Shaped America. ABC-CLIO. p. 663. ISBN 9781598845396. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  4. ^ a b Kaufman, Burton Ira (2009). The Carter Years. Infobase Publishing. pp. 399–403. ISBN 9780816074587. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Jacob F. Schoellkopf". The New York Times. September 17, 1899. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d e Clymer, Adam (2002-01-15). "Henry Reuss, Liberal in Congress, Dies at 89" (New York Times). The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-28. leading liberal in Congress on issues from interest rates to pollution to Watergate to aid for New York City
  7. ^ Herbert, Bob (2002-01-21). "An Honorable Man". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-28. ...a thoughtful and creative congressman who represented the North Side of Milwaukee...
  8. ^ "CABIN JOHN, MD Political Contributions by Individuals". Advameg, Inc. Retrieved 2008-09-28.
  9. ^ a b Sullivan, Patricia (2008-10-08). "Margaret M. Reuss; Political Activist, Professor". Washington Post. p. B6. Retrieved 2008-10-09.
  10. ^ Schonwald, Josh (2004-09-29). "Ice Age Trail Cometh: In Wisconsin, follow the road and go back in geologic time". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-09-28.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Charles J. Kersten
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 5th congressional district

January 3, 1955 – January 3, 1983
Succeeded by
Jim Moody