Open main menu

Harold Himmel Velde (April 1, 1910 – September 1, 1985) was a Republican American political figure from Illinois. While United States Congressman for Illinois' 18th congressional district he was chairman of the House Un-American Activities Committee between 1953 and 1955.

Harold H. Velde
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 18th district
In office
January 3, 1949 – January 3, 1957
Preceded byEverett M. Dirksen
Succeeded byRobert H. Michel
Personal details
Harold Himmel Velde

(1910-04-01)April 1, 1910
Parkland, Tazewell County, Illinois
DiedSeptember 1, 1985(1985-09-01) (aged 75)
Sun City, Arizona
Political partyRepublican
Alma materBradley University
Northwestern University
University of Illinois Law School


Velde was born on a farm near Parkland, Tazewell County, Illinois.[1] After attending rural grade and high school, he attended Bradley University from 1927 to 1929, then graduated from Northwestern University in 1931 and from University of Illinois Law School in 1937.[1]


Velde was admitted to the bar as a lawyer, taking up practice in Pekin, Illinois.[1]

Velde served as a private in the United States Army Signal Corps in 1942 until becoming a special agent for the FBI's sabotage and counterespionage division in 1943, staying there until 1946.

In 1946, he was then elected judge for Tazewell County, Illinois and remained judge until 1949.[1]

In 1948, Velde won election to the United States House of Representatives, taking his seat on January 3, 1949.[1]

In the 83rd United States Congress, he became chairman of the House Un-American Activities Committee[1] after the previous chairman, J. Parnell Thomas of New Jersey, went to prison for taking kickbacks.[2]

Velde did not run in 1956, and ended his four terms in Congress on January 3, 1957.[1]

After Congress, Velde returned to practicing law: He was a lawyer in Urbana, Illinois and Washington, D.C. until May 5, 1969. He became a regional counsel for the General Services Administration in Lansing, Illinois in 1969.[1]

Personal and deathEdit

In 1974, he retired to Sun City, Arizona, where he died on September 1, 1985. His ashes were interred in Pekin, Illinois,[1] at Lakeside Cemetery.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i United States Congress. "VELDE, Harold Himmel, (1910 - 1985) (id: V000082)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2014-11-22.
  2. ^ "Ex-Rep. Harold H. Velde; Led Anti-Communist Unit". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles. September 8, 1985. Retrieved 2014-11-22.
  3. ^ "Harold H. Velde". Find a Grave. Retrieved 2014-11-22.

External linksEdit