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Joseph Matthew Gaydos (July 3, 1926 – February 7, 2015) was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania. Gaydos was the first Slovak American to serve in the United States Congress.[2]

Joseph M. Gaydos
Joseph Matthew Gaydos.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 20th district
In office
November 5, 1968 – January 3, 1993
Preceded byElmer Holland
Succeeded byAustin Murphy
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate
from the 45th district
In office
January 2, 1967 – November 5, 1968[1]
Preceded byLeonard Staisey
Succeeded byEdward Zemprelli
Personal details
Joseph Matthew Gaydos

(1926-07-03)July 3, 1926
Braddock, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedFebruary 7, 2015(2015-02-07) (aged 88)
Elizabeth Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Alice Ann Gaydos (née Gray; died March 19, 2001)

Gaydos was born in Braddock, Pennsylvania. His father was born in what is known today as Slovakia.[3]

He attended Duquesne University and graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1951. He served during World War II in the Pacific theater with the United States Navy Reserve, 1944–1946. He served in the Pennsylvania State Senate from 1967 to 1968.[4] He served as Deputy Attorney General of Pennsylvania, Assistant Solicitor of Allegheny County, and general counsel to United Mine Workers of America, district five.[citation needed]

He was elected simultaneously as a Democrat to the 90th and to the 91st Congress, by special election, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of United States Representative Elmer Holland. He was not a candidate for renomination in 1992. He died on February 7, 2015, aged 88.[5][6]


  1. ^ Cox, Harold (2004). "Pennsylvania Senate - 1967-1968" (PDF). Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University.
  2. ^ Fedor, Helen. "The Slovaks in America". Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  3. ^ Cultural Contributions of Americans with Roots in Slovakia Archived 2008-11-15 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed March 2, 2015.
  4. ^ Cox, Harold. "Senate Members "G"". Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University.
  5. ^ Obituary-Joseph M. Gaydos,; accessed March 1, 2015.
  6. ^ Natasha Lindstrom (February 9, 2015). "Legislator's history turned focus to workers' rights". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved February 17, 2015.