- Long, Huey Pierce
- (1893-1935)Huey Long was born in Winnfield, Louisiana. Despite winning a scholarship to Louisiana State University, he was unable to afford student life and worked in a variety of jobs while studying law in his own time. Long entered Louisiana politics as a member of the Railroad Commission that existed from 1918 to 1921, which then became the Public Service Commission, which stayed in place from 1921 to 1928. After failing to win election in 1924, he was elected governor of Louisiana for the Democratic Party in 1928 and built a reputation as a populist reformer. He raised taxes to pay for school books, started a program for bridge and road construction, and improved the University of Louisiana at Baton Rouge. He largely ran the state as a one-party state using patronage and intimidation to maintain control.Having survived an impeachment trial because of his taxation policies, Long was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1930 and adopted the nickname “Kingfish.” He continued as governor until one of his supporters could replace him in 1932. Initially sympathetic, he became increasingly critical of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. In 1934, Long outlined his “Share Our Wealth” program in a manifesto entitled Every Man a King, which promised each family a guaranteed cash income, old-age pensions, and reduced work hours financed by placing a ceiling on incomes and property ownership. In 1935, he announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination, and it appeared likely that he could attract as much as 10 percent of the vote. Roosevelt, who described him as one of the “two most dangerous men in America,” regarded him as a serious threat, and the revenue bill he submitted to Congress was in part a response to Long’s challenge. However, Long died on 10 September 1935 after being gunned down on the steps of the state capitol in Baton Rouge by Dr. Carl Weiss, the son-in-law of a political opponent.
Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . Neil A. Wynn . 2015.