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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesCalifornia

Helen Gahagan DOUGLAS

(1900-1980)

DOUGLAS, Helen Gahagan, a Representative from California; born in Boonton, Morris County, N.J., November 25, 1900; attended the public schools, Berkeley School for Girls, Brooklyn, N.Y., Capen School for Girls, Northampton, Mass., and Barnard College, New York City; moved to Los Angeles, Calif., in 1931; engaged in the theatrical profession and also as an opera singer 1922-1938; Democratic National committeewoman for California 1940-1944; vice chairman of the Democratic State central committee and chairman of the women’s division 1940-1944; member of the national advisory committee of the Works Progress Administration and of the State committee of the National Youth Administration in 1939 and 1940; member of the board of governors of the California Housing and Planning Association in 1942 and 1943; appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a member of the Voluntary Participation Committee, Office of Civilian Defense; appointed by President Harry S. Truman as alternate United States Delegate to the United Nations Assembly; elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-ninth, Eightieth, and Eighty-first Congresses (January 3, 1945-January 3, 1951); was not a candidate for renomination in 1950, but was unsuccessful for election to the United States Senate; lecturer and author; appointed by President Johnson as Special Ambassador to head United States delegation to inauguration ceremonies of President William V.S. Tubman of Liberia in 1964; resided in New York City until her death on June 28, 1980.

Bibliography

Douglas, Helen Gahagan. A Full Life. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1982; Denton, Sally. The Pink Lady: The Many Lives of Helen Gahagan Douglas. New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2009.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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