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David A. Reed
Reed in 1922
United States Senator
from Pennsylvania
In office
August 8, 1922 – January 3, 1935
Preceded byWilliam E. Crow
Succeeded byJoseph F. Guffey
Personal details
David Aiken Reed

(1880-12-21)December 21, 1880
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US
DiedFebruary 10, 1953(1953-02-10) (aged 72)
Sarasota, Florida, US
Political partyRepublican
SpouseAdele Reed
Alma materPrinceton University (A.B.)
University of Pittsburgh (LL.B.)
Military service
AllegianceUnited States of America
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
Years of service1917–1919
UnitUnited States Army
Battles/warsWorld War I

David Aiken Reed (December 21, 1880 – February 10, 1953) was an American lawyer and Republican party politician from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He represented Pennsylvania in the United States Senate from 1922 to 1935.[1]

He was a co-author of the restrictive Immigration Act of 1924, also known as the Johnson–Reed Act.[2][3]

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Early life and education

David Aiken Reed was born on December 21, 1880, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania[4] to James Hay Reed, a Pittsburgh lawyer and federal judge, and Katherine Jones (Aiken) Reed. He graduated from Shady Side Academy, a Pittsburgh prep school, in 1896.

He then obtained his college education at Princeton University, from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1900. He earned a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Pittsburgh Law School in 1903 and was admitted to the bar during the same year.[5]

Legal career and military service

He practiced law from 1903 to 1917 in Pittsburgh, also serving as chairman of the Pennsylvania Industrial Accidents Commission, until serving as a major in field artillery in World War I until 1919, after which he resumed practicing law. In the military he received the Victory Medal, The Distinguished Service Medal and the France Order Legion Honor Knight Cross. He also was the post commander for VFW East Liberty Post number 5 Department of Pennsylvania. His dog tag reads "David A. Reed Major 311th Field Artillery U.S.A."[6]

United States Senate

Reed, a Republican, was appointed to the United States Senate on August 8, 1922, to fill a vacancy created by the death of William E. Crow. He was subsequently elected on November 7, 1922, to serve for the remainder of Crow's term and a six-year term in his own right, beginning in March 1923.[7]

Along with Congressman Albert Johnson, Senator Reed was a co-author of the Immigration Act of 1924, the purpose of which was to restrict the movement of Eastern and Southern Europeans into the United States, and prohibit Asian immigration in its entirety.[8]

Reed served as chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in Executive Departments and Committee on Military Affairs. He was reelected in 1928, but was unsuccessful in seeking reelection in 1934. Frustrated with Congressional inaction in response to the Great Depression, in a July 1, 1932, Senate speech, Reed said: “I do not often envy other countries and their governments, but I say that if this country ever needed a Mussolini, it needs one now.”[9] He was also a Member of the American Liberty League. His tenure in the U.S. Senate ended with the expiration of his term on January 3, 1935.

After the Senate

After serving in the U.S. Senate, Reed resumed practicing law in Pittsburgh until his death on February 10, 1953, in Sarasota, Florida. He was interred in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.[10][11][12]

His house on 2222 S Street NW in the Kalorama neighborhood of Washington, D.C., designed by Carrere & Hastings and built in 1929, survives as the Embassy of Laos.[13]


  1. ^ "Ex-Sen. Reed Dies of Heart Seizure." Chattanooga, Tennessee: The Chattanooga Times, February 11, 1953, p. 13 (subscription required).
  2. ^ "IMMIGRATION BILL PASSES THE SENATE BY VOTE OF 62 TO 6; Ban on Asiatics Is Made Operative When Law Takes Effect -- Other Clauses on July 1". The New York Times. 1924-04-19. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-05-21.
  3. ^ "David A. Reed Dies At 72; Ex-U.S. Senator And Hero Of War I." Buffalo, New York: The Buffalo News, February 11, 1953, p. 3 (subscription required).
  4. ^ "Ex-Sen. Reed Dies of Heart Seizure," The Chattanooga Times, February 11, 1953.
  5. ^ Pittsburgh Leader (1913). The Book of Prominent Pennsylvanians: A Standard Reference. Leader Publishing. p. 76.
  6. ^ "David A. Reed Dies At 72; Ex-U.S. Senator And Hero Of War I," The Buffalo News, February 11, 1953.
  7. ^ "David A. Reed Dies At 72; Ex-U.S. Senator And Hero Of War I," The Buffalo News, February 11, 1953.
  8. ^ "David A. Reed Dies At 72; Ex-U.S. Senator And Hero Of War I," The Buffalo News, February 11, 1953.
  9. ^ "Reed - Facing the Corporate Roots of American Fascism".
  10. ^ "Ex-Sen. Reed Dies of Heart Seizure," The Chattanooga Times, February 11, 1953.
  11. ^ "David A. Reed Dies At 72; Ex-U.S. Senator And Hero Of War I," The Buffalo News, February 11, 1953.
  12. ^ "Burial detail: Reed, David A". ANC Explorer. Retrieved March 7, 2023.
  13. ^ Emily Hotaling Eig and Julie Mueller, Traceries (1989). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Sheridan-Kalorama Historic District".

External links

U.S. Senate
Preceded by  U.S. senator (Class 1) from Pennsylvania
Served alongside: George Pepper, William Vare,1 Joe Grundy, James Davis
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania
(Class 1)

1922, 1928, 1934
Succeeded by
Jay Cooke
Notes and references
1. Vare was never sworn-in or seated.

Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress

This page was last edited on 19 February 2024, at 20:25
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