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Thomas H. Eliot

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thomas H. Eliot
Thomas H. Eliot (SSA).png
Vice Chair of the United States Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations
In office
April 30, 1964[1] – April 29, 1966[1]
Appointed byLyndon Johnson
Preceded byDon Hummel[2]
Succeeded byPrice Daniel[3]
Executive Director of the Special Commission on the Structure of the State Government of Massachusetts
In office
GovernorPaul A. Dever
Preceded byposition established[4]
Succeeded byWilliam A. Waldron[4]
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 9th district
In office
January 3, 1941 – January 3, 1943
Preceded byRobert Luce
Succeeded byCharles L. Gifford
General Counsel of the Social Security Board
In office
Preceded byposition established
Succeeded byJack B. Tate[5]
Personal details
Thomas Hopkinson Eliot

June 14, 1907
Cambridge, Massachusetts
DiedOctober 14, 1991(1991-10-14) (aged 84)
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Resting placeMount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Lois Jameson
EducationHarvard University (AB, LLB)

Thomas Hopkinson Eliot (June 14, 1907 – October 14, 1991)[6] was an American lawyer, politician, and academic who served as chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis and as a congressman in the United States House of Representatives from Massachusetts.[7]

Early life

Eliot as general counsel of the Social Security Board.
Eliot as general counsel of the Social Security Board.

A great-grandson of Samuel Atkins Eliot and grandson of Charles William Eliot, Eliot was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts into the prominent Eliot family. He attended Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, graduated from Harvard University in 1928 and was a student at Emmanuel College in Cambridge University, from 1928 to 1929. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1932 and was admitted to the bar in 1933, commencing practice in Buffalo, New York. He served as assistant solicitor in the United States Department of Labor from 1933 to 1935 and as general counsel for the Social Security Board from 1935 to 1937. He was a lecturer on government at Harvard University from 1937 to 1938, and regional director of the Wage and Hour Division in the Department of Labor from 1939 to 1940.[8]


Congressman Tom Eliot of Massachusetts chatting with a delegate from his state.
Congressman Tom Eliot of Massachusetts chatting with a delegate from his state.

In 1938 Eliot, a Democrat, ran for election to the Seventy-sixth Congress, losing to Republican Robert Luce. Eliot defeated Luce in a rematch in 1940, winning election to the Seventy-seventh Congress (January 3, 1941 – January 3, 1943). He was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1942 to the Seventy-eighth Congress and for nomination in 1944 to the Seventy-ninth Congress; both times his successful opponent was the colorful longtime Boston politician James M. Curley.

Eliot saw war service in 1943 as director of the British Division, Office of War Information, London, England, and special assistant to the United States Ambassador. From 1943 to 1944 he was chairman of the appeals committee of the National War Labor Board. He served with the Office of Strategic Services in 1944, and from November 1944 to November 1945 was chief counsel of the Division of Power, U.S. Department of the Interior. In addition, Eliot served as New England chairman of the United Negro College Fund.[9]

After the war, Eliot engaged in the practice of law in Boston from 1945 to 1950, before returning to university life. From 1950 to 1952 he served as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Special Commission on the Structure of the State Government.[4] In 1952 he was appointed professor of political science at Washington University in St. Louis, where he wrote Governing America; the Politics of a Free People: National, State, and Local Government, and American Government: Problems and Readings in Political Analysis. He was a professor of constitutional law from 1958 to 1961. In 1961 he moved to the Washington University College of Liberal Arts, serving as dean from 1961 to 1962, and chancellor from 1962 to 1971. He also served as vice chairman of the United States Commission on Intergovernmental Relations from 1964 to 1966 and as president of the Salzburg Global Seminar from 1971 to 1977; and as a teacher at Buckingham, Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, Massachusetts (his high school alma mater, which had merged with another school), from 1977 to 1985.

Personal life and Death

He married Lois Jameson and they had two children.[10] Eliot was a resident of Cambridge until his death there in 1991.[11] He was interred at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[7]


  • Eliot, Thomas H. Recollections of the New Deal: When the People Mattered. Edited with an introduction by John Kenneth Galbraith. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1992;
  • Eliot, Thomas H. Public and Personal. Edited by Frank O'Brien. St. Louis: Washington University Press, 1971.


  1. ^ a b Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, 15-year Report (1974)
  2. ^ Annual report – Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, 4th issue (1963)
  3. ^ Annual report – Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, 9th issue (1968)
  4. ^ a b c d e Massachusetts, Commonwealth of (1950–1954). Reports of the Massachusetts Special Commission on the Structure of the State Government, Issue 1–15. Boston, Massachusetts: Wright & Potter Printing Company.
  5. ^ a b c OGC Key Personnel Archive – 1935–1937, Former General Counsel Thomas H. Eliot
  6. ^ "Former Scholars (1920–1945)". Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  7. ^ a b "ELIOT, Thomas Hopkinson – Biographical Information". Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  8. ^ "Eliot, Thomas H. (1907–1991)". Harvard Square Library. July 30, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  9. ^ "Thomas H. Eliot Papers, 1941–1942 | Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum". Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  10. ^ Blau, Elaine (October 16, 1991). "Thomas H. Eliot, Ex-Congressman And University Chief, Dies at 84". The New York Times. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  11. ^ "Thomas H. Eliot | Washington University in St. Louis". Washington University in St. Louis. Retrieved August 31, 2017.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 9th congressional district

January 3, 1941 – January 3, 1943
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 4 May 2022, at 21:28
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