Huey Pierce Long Jr. (US, 1893-1935)

Huey Long
Figure 1.--Here Boy Scouts at a the Des Moines, Iowa Drake Relays ask for Senator Long's autograph. The men around him are his body guards. Note the man at right. He is holding a gun ready in his pocket. A Louisiana Senator making an appearance like this in Iowa is a sure sign he was preparing for a national political campaign.

President Roosevelt considered the flamboyant Louisana Democrat, Huey Long, the most dangerous person in America. He was elected govenor of Louisiana and became a fixture in state politics where he was called the Kingfish. There he became known for his radical populist policies. He served as Governor (1928-32) and U.S. senator (1932-35). He initially backed President Roosevelt and the New Deal. He soon, however, broke with the President, unhappy with the moderate character of the New Deal (June 1933). He founded the Share Our Wealth program (1934). The moto was "Every Man a King". He proposed wealth redistribution measures that during the Depression had considerable appeal. They would be financed by a net asset tax on large corporations and wealthy individuals. Roosevelt believed that Long would use his Share Our Wealth Foundation to challenge him in the 1936 election. Long was a talented and charismatic politicans. He was probably the only man in America with the political presence to take on Roosevelt. As govenor he achieved considerable popularity for the social progeams he sponsored. He was willing to take forceful action against entrenced interests and was not particularly bothered about legal niceties. He achieved virtual absolute control of the state government. His enemies charged tht he had dictatorial tendencies which along with his populist appeal made him so dangerous. He was assasinated at the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge (September 8, 1935). He died two days later. He is reoportedly to have said "God, don't let me die. I have so much left to do." as he died.


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Created: 11:27 PM 6/4/2008
Last updated: 11:27 PM 6/4/2008