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HECHLER, Kenneth William

HECHLER, Kenneth William
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
1914– 2016

Biography

HECHLER, Kenneth William, a Representative from West Virginia; born near Roslyn, Long Island, N.Y., September 20, 1914; graduated from Roslyn High School, Roslyn, N.Y., 1931; A.B., Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pa., 1935; A.M., Columbia University, New York, N.Y., 1936; Ph.D., Columbia University, New York, N.Y., 1940; faculty, Columbia, Barnard, Princeton and Marshall Universities; research assistant, Judge Samuel I. Rosenman and President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Roosevelt's public papers; section chief, Bureau of the Census, 1940; personnel officer, Office for Emergency Management, 1941; administrative analyst, United States Bureau of the Budget, in 1942 and 1946; United States Army, European Theater of Operations as combat historian, 1942-1946; special assistant to President Truman, 1949-1953; associate director of American Political Science Association at Washington, D.C., 1953-1956; research director, presidential campaign of Adlai Stevenson, 1956; administrative aide to Senator John A. Carroll of Colorado in 1957; delegate Democratic National Conventions, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1980 and 1984; elected as a Democrat to the Eighty-sixth and to the eight succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1959-January 3, 1977); was not a candidate for reelection to the Ninety-fifth Congress in 1976, but was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for Governor of West Virginia; subsequently was an unsuccessful write-in candidate for reelection to the United States House of Representatives; television and newspaper journalist; unsuccessful Democratic candidate for nomination to the Ninety-sixth Congress in 1978; science consultant, House Committee on Science and Technology, 1980-1982; taught at the University of Charleston and Marshall University, 1981-1984; elected secretary of state of West Virginia in 1984; unsuccessful candidate for nomination to the One Hundred Second Congress in 1990; died on December 10, 2016, in Romney, W. Va.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Marshall University
James E. Morrow Library

Huntington, WV
Papers: 1958-2010, ca. 600 cubic feet. The congressional papers of Kenneth Hechler contain correspondence from constituents; materials related to the proposed Midway Airport, black lung legislation, strip mining, environmental issues, the United Mine Workers of America, and committee files. Also included are 75 scrapbooks of newspaper clippings, committee proceedings and copies of the Congressional Record. The collection is currently restricted.

The Truman Presidential Library and Museum

Independence, MO
Oral History: 1986, 86 pages. An interview of Hechler by Neil M. Johnson on November 29, 1985. The transcript of the interview is available in the library and online.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Hechler, Ken. The Bridge at Remagen: The Amazing Story of March 7, 1945---The Day the Rhine River was Crossed. Foreword by Brig. Gen. S.L.A. Marshall. 1957. Reprint, Missoula, Mont.: Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, 1993.

___. Holding The Line: The 51st Engineer Combat Battalion and the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944-January 1945. With a prologue and epilogue by Barry W. Fowle. Studies in Military Engineering, No. 4. Fort Belvior, Va.: Office of History, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1988.

___. "Insurgency: Personalities and Politics of the Taft Era," Ph. D. Diss., Columbia University, 1941.Reprint, New York: AMS Press, 1970.

___. Toward the Endless Frontier: History of the Committee on Science and Technology, 1959-79. [Washington, D.C.]: U.S. House of Representatives: For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, 1980.

___. West Virginia Memories of President Kennedy. N.p.: Privately printed by the author, 1965.

___. Working with Truman. A Personal Memoir of the White House Years. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1982.

Moffat, Charles Hill. Ken Hechler: Maverick Public Servant. Charleston, W.Va.: Mountain State Press, 1987.

Ralph Nader Congress Project. Citizens Look at Congress: Ken Hechler, Democratic Representative from West Virginia. Washington, D. C.: Grossman Publishers, 1972.

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