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Huey Long: A Featured Biography

Image: Senator Huey Long
Senator Huey Long

Born in 1893, Huey Long of Louisiana worked as a traveling salesman, earned a law degree in a single year, and then entered public life as a railroad commissioner in 1918. Drawing on a political power base that he built among Louisiana’s small towns and rural districts, he became governor in 1928. Fearlessly, he took on the moneyed interests of Baton Rouge and Wall Street, calling for a massive redistribution of wealth. In 1932, amidst the Great Depression, Long was elected to the Senate, where he gained a national following with his “share-our-wealth” plan and his “Every Man a King” philosophy. Once described as the “most colorful, as well as the most dangerous, man to engage in American politics,” Long was known in the Senate for his filibustering and his flamboyant oratorical style. Nicknamed the “Kingfish,” his ambitions soon turned to the White House. In 1935, at the height of his popularity, Huey Long was assassinated in Baton Rouge.


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Historical Minutes

Wide-ranging in topic and organized chronologically, these brief essays highlight recurring themes in the Senate's institutional development.