- Douglas, Helen Gahagan
- (1900-1980)Born Helen Gahagan in New Jersey, Helen Douglas (she married actor Melvyn Douglas in 1931) attended Barnard College before starting an acting career in 1922. She was well-known for theater and opera performances on Broadway, including Fashions for Men (1922), Chains (1923), and Young Woodley (1925); made several tours of Europe; and appeared in one film, She, in 1935. Having moved to California, Douglas became involved in Democratic Party politics. She served on the National Advisory Committee to the Works Progress Administration and also with the National Youth Administration and was a Democratic National Committee member from 1940 to 1944. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 1944 and served until 1951. In 1950, she stood for election to the Senate but was defeated by Republican Richard M. Nixon, who accused her of being “pink down to her underwear.” She continued to be active in politics speaking and giving lectures and in 1952 appeared again on Broadway in First Lady. She also authored a book, The Eleanor Roosevelt We Remember (1963).
Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . Neil A. Wynn . 2015.