Open main menu

Hugh De Lacy (politician)

Hugh De Lacy

Emerson Hugh De Lacy,[1] (May 9, 1910 – August 19, 1986), an American politician, served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1945 to 1947. He represented the First Congressional District of Washington as a Democrat.

Early yearsEdit

De Lacy was born in Seattle, Washington, and educated in the public schools of the Queen Anne section of Seattle. He graduated from the University of Washington with a master of arts degree in 1932.[2]


From 1933 to 1937, De Lacy taught English at the University of Washington.[2]

De Lacy was elected to the Seattle City Council in 1937.[3] He was subsequently elected as President of the Washington Commonwealth Federation, a left-wing pressure group within the Washington State Democratic Party that was controlled by the Communist Party USA.[4] According to historian of American Communism Harvey Klehr, De Lacy was a secret member of the Communist Party USA at the time of his 1937 election.[3]

De Lacy's party membership was first publicly revealed by the former Executive Secretary of the Washington Commonwealth Federation, Howard Costigan, who declared in sworn testimony delivered to the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1954 that he had sat with De Lacy on the governing bureau of the Seattle district of the CPUSA from 1937 to 1939.[5]

De Lacy was elected to the United States Congress in 1944, replacing fellow Democrat Warren G. Magnuson who had retired from the House to run (successfully) for United States Senate. De Lacy was defeated by Republican Homer Jones in the 1946 election.

In 1947, De Lacy became editor of the Bulletin of the Machinists' Union in Seattle. From 1948 to 1950, he was state director of the Progressive Party of Ohio. He became a carpenter in 1951, and in 1960 he became a general building contractor. He retired from that role in 1967.[2]

DeLacy, along with Woody Guthrie, and Pete Seeger introduced the word "Hootenanny" as a musical term, to the world.

Personal lifeEdit

On October 24, 1947, De Lacy was divorced from Betty De Lacy.[6] In 1949, De Lacy married actress Hester Sondergaard.[7]


On August 19, 1986, De Lacy died in Soquel, California.[2]


  1. ^ De Lacy - 1000 years of history, published 2013 by Bernhard Lascy, pg.310
  2. ^ a b c d "DELACY, Emerson Hugh, (1910 - 1986)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Archived from the original on 30 July 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  3. ^ a b Harvey Klehr, The Heyday of American Communism: The Depression Decade. New York: Basic Books, 1984; pg. 256.
  4. ^ Paul de Graaf, "Washington Commonwealth Federation," in Mari Jo Buhle, Paul Buhle, and Dan Georgakas (eds.), Encyclopedia of the American Left. First Edition. New York: Garland Publishing, 1990; pg. 820.
  5. ^ "Testimony of Howard Costigan," Investigation of Communist Activities in the Pacific Northwest Area — Part 1: Hearings Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-Third Congress, Second Session; October 3, 1952; March 16, May 28, June 2 and 9, 1954. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1954; pg. 5987.
  6. ^ "Mrs. Hugh DeLacy Is Given Divorce". Spokane Chronicle. Washington, Spokane. Associated Press. October 25, 1947. p. 10. Retrieved 31 July 2019 – via
  7. ^ "On Honeymoon". Reno Gazette-Journal. Nevada, Reno. July 11, 1949. p. 2. Retrieved 30 July 2019.

Further readingEdit