Alger Hiss Austin Grant & Kaitlyn Roberts. Growing Up Born on November 11, 1904 in Baltimore,...
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Austin Grant & Kaitlyn Roberts
Born on November 11, 1904 in Baltimore, Maryland
He was the fourth of five children Raised by his mother and aunt after his father
committed suicide Attended Johns Hopkins University and then
Harvard Law School He graduated from the law school in 1929
Hiss joined the law firm of Choate, Hall & Stewart in Boston, Massachusetts
The next year, he and his wife Priscilla moved to New York, where she worked on a book while he joined another law firm
He stayed with the firm until 1933, when he received a telegram from Frankfurter, saying the country needed him.
The telegram urged him to join the New Deal as an attorney with the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, a program set up by FDR to help farmers who had been hurt by the Depression.
Early Career Cont.
In 1939, Hiss became assistant to Stanley Hornbeck, the State Department's Political Adviser in Charge of Far Eastern Affairs.
In 1944, as World War II was drawing to a close, he helped plan for peace. As deputy director of the Department's Office of Special Political Affairs, he was in charge of setting up the United Nations. Later that year, he headed the Dumbarton Oaks Conference, which formally drew up the U.N. Charter
Served as a member of the American delegation to the Yalta Conference
As the highlight of his government career - Hiss was asked to fly the new U.N. charter back to Washington in a special plane for President Truman's signature after the conference
Whittaker Chambers first made his public charges that Hiss was a secret communist
Hiss denied the charge and filed a libel suit against Chambers
Chambers produced a number of copies of State Department documents and said they were given to him by Hiss for transmission to the Soviet Union
perjury charges were then brought against Hiss when he denied before a grand jury that he had committed espionage Espionage is spying
“The Hiss-Chambers affair would prove to be the watershed case of the McCarthy period and one of the most important of the century”
The first trial ended in a hung jury Hiss was convicted in a second trial He was in jail for 44 months before he was
released in November of 1954. When he left prison the other inmates stood
at the windows to cheer him Hiss in later years reported that, for him,
prison had been a place of learning and growing, saying that "three years in jail is a good corrective for three years at Harvard."
He and his wife split in 1959 Hiss took a job as a salesman Wrote "In the Court of Public Opinion," in
which he rebutted the government's case point by point