Dies, Martin (1900–1972)

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DIES, MARTIN (1900–1972)

Martin Dies, an anti-new deal Democrat from Texas, served in the house of representatives from 1931 to 1945 and from 1953 to 1961. In 1938 he became chairman of the special Committee to Investigate Un-American Activities, forerunner of the house committee on unamerican activities. Dies and his committee attained national prominence through sensational exposés of supposed Fascist, Nazi, and communist activity in government, labor unions, and industry. His published lists of government employees who were "Communists or Communist dupes," the publicity he gave to unsubstantiated accusations, and his disregard of normal civil liberties foreshadowed the activities of Senator Joseph McCarthy.

Dennis J. Mahoney