Long, Huey


Long, Huey

▪ American politician

born Aug. 30, 1893, near Winnfield, La., U.S.
died Sept. 10, 1935, Baton Rouge, La.
 flamboyant and demagogic governor of Louisiana and U.S. senator whose social reforms and radical welfare proposals were ultimately overshadowed by the unprecedented executive dictatorship that he perpetrated to ensure control of his home state.

      In spite of an impoverished background, young Long managed to obtain enough formal schooling to pass the bar examination in 1915. He was politically ambitious and won election to the state railroad commission at age 25. In this post his calls for the equitable regulation of the state utility companies and his attacks on Standard Oil earned him widespread popularity. He ran for the Louisiana governorship in 1924 and was defeated, but in 1928 he won the governorship through the heavy support of the discontented rural districts. His picturesque if irreverent speech, fiery oratory, and unconventional buffoonery soon made him nationally famous, and he was widely known by his nickname, “Kingfish.” Long made a genuine contribution with an ambitious program of public works and welfare legislation in a state whose road system and social services had been sadly neglected by the wealthy elite that had long controlled the state government. Always the champion of poor whites, he effected a free-textbook law, launched a massive and very useful program of road and bridge building, expanded state university facilities, and erected a state hospital where free treatment for all was intended. He was opposed to excessive privileges for the rich, and he financed his improvements with increased inheritance and income taxes as well as a severance tax on oil—earning him the bitter enmity of the wealthy and of the oil interests.

      Long's folksy manner and sympathy for the underprivileged diverted attention from his ruthless autocratic methods. Surrounding himself with gangsterlike bodyguards, he dictated outright to members of the legislature, using intimidation if necessary. When he was about to leave office to serve in the U.S. Senate (1932), he fired the legally elected lieutenant governor and replaced him with two designated successors who would obey him from Washington. In order to fend off local challenges to his control in 1934, he effected radical changes in the Louisiana government, abolishing local government and taking personal control of all educational, police, and fire job appointments throughout the state. He achieved absolute control of the state militia, judiciary, and election and tax-assessing apparatus, while denying citizens any legal or electoral redress.

      In the Senate (1932–35) he sought national power with a Share-the-Wealth program (“every man a king”), which was tempting to a depression-shocked public. Had Long been able to unite the various nationwide radical movements, a private poll taken in the spring of 1935 estimated that he would have won up to 4 million votes in the next year's presidential election, thus wielding a balance of power between the two major parties.

      Long was at the height of his power when assassinated by Carl Austin Weiss, the son of a man whom he had vilified. The Long political dynasty was carried on by his brother, Earl K. Long, who served as governor (1939–40, 1948–52, 1956–60), and his son, Russell B. Long, who served in the U.S. Senate from 1948 to 1987.

Additional Reading
T. Harry Williams, Huey Long (1969, reissued 1981); William Ivy Hair, The Kingfish and His Realm: The Life and Times of Huey P. Long (1991).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Long,Huey Pierce — Long (lông, lŏng), Huey Pierce. Called “the Kingfish.” 1893 1935. American politician. As a populist but dictatorial governor of Louisiana (1928 1932), he instituted major public works legislation, and as a U.S. Senator (1930 1935) he proposed a… …   Universalium

  • 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… …   Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era

  • Long, Huey (Pierce) — born Aug. 30, 1893, near Winnfield, La., U.S. died Sept. 10, 1935, Baton Rouge, La. U.S. politician. Despite an impoverished background, he managed to obtain enough formal schooling to pass the bar in 1915. Politically ambitious, he was elected… …   Universalium

  • Long, Huey (Pierce) — (30 ago. 1893, cerca de Winnfield, La., EE.UU.–10 sep. 1935, Baton Rouge, La.). Político estadounidense. Pese a sus orígenes de pobreza, logró recibir educación suficiente como para titularse de abogado en 1915. Con ambiciones políticas, a los 25 …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Huey Long — Huey Pierce Long Pour les articles homonymes, voir Long. Huey Pierce Long …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Huey P. Long — Huey Pierce Long Pour les articles homonymes, voir Long. Huey Pierce Long …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Huey P. Long — Huey Pierce Long Huebert Pierce Long, Jr. (* 30. August 1893 in Winnfield, Louisiana; † 10. September 1935 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker im US Bundesstaat Louisiana. Er gehörte den Demokraten …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Huey Pierce Long Jr. — Huey Pierce Long Huebert Pierce Long, Jr. (* 30. August 1893 in Winnfield, Louisiana; † 10. September 1935 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker im US Bundesstaat Louisiana. Er gehörte den Demokraten …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Huey P. Newton — Huey Percy Newton (* 17. Februar 1942 in Monroe, Louisiana; † 22. August 1989) war neben Bobby Seale eines der beiden Gründungsmitglieder der Black Panther Party. Biografie …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Huey Long — [Huey Long] (1893–1935) a powerful US politician in the state of ↑Louisiana, also known as ‘Kingfish’. He used emotional speeches and a programme of taxes called Share the Wealth to get money from big businesses and win votes from poor people,… …   Useful english dictionary


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