Henry Schoellkopf Reuss
Image courtesy of the Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Wisconsin's 5th district
January 3, 1955 - January 3, 1983
|Charles J. Kersten|
|Born||February 22, 1912|
|Died||January 12, 2002 (aged 89)|
San Rafael, California
|Resting place||Forest Home Cemetery|
(m. 1942; her death 2008)
|Relations||Henry Schoellkopf (uncle)|
|Parents||Gustav A. Reuss|
|Alma mater||Cornell University|
Harvard Law School
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Branch/service||United States Army|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Henry Schoellkopf Reuss was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was the son of Gustav A. Reuss (pronounced Royce) and Paula Schoellkopf (b. 1876). He was the grandson of a Wisconsin bank president who had emigrated to the United States from Germany in 1848. Both his mother and uncle, Henry Schoellkopf (1879-1912), were grandchildren of Jacob F. Schoellkopf (1819-1899), a pioneer in harnessing the hydroelectric power of Niagara Falls.
He grew up in that Milwaukee's German section. Reuss earned his A.B. from Cornell University in 1933 and was a member of the Sphinx Head Society. He then earned his LL.B. from Harvard Law School in 1936.
He was a lawyer in private practice and business executive. He served as assistant corporation counsel for Milwaukee County, Wisconsin from 1939 to 1940 and Counsel for United States Office of Price Administration from 1941 to 1942.
He was in the United States Army from 1943 to 1945, leaving as a major. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in the infantry. He served as chief of price control, Office of Military Government for Germany in 1945, and deputy general counsel for the Marshall Plan, Paris, France in 1949. After the War, Reuss became a special prosecutor for Milwaukee County in 1950.
In 1950, he left the Republican party due to antipathy for Senator Joseph McCarthy. As a Democrat, Reuss waged an unsuccessful primary election campaign to become McCarthy's opponent in the 1952 general election. He attended the 1952 Democratic National Convention as an alternate delegate.
He served as member of the school board for Milwaukee from 1953 to 1954. He served as member of legal advisory committee, United States National Resources Board from 1948 to 1952. He was an unsuccessful candidate for mayor of Milwaukee in 1948 and 1960, losing to Frank Zeidler and Henry Maier, respectively.
Reuss was elected as a Democrat from the 5th district to the Eighty-fourth and to the thirteen succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1955 - January 3, 1983). He served as chairman of the Committee on Banking, Currency, and Housing in the Ninety-fourth Congress. He served as chairman of the Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs in the Ninety-fifth and Ninety-sixth Congresses. He served as chairman of the Joint Economic Committee in the Ninety-seventh Congress.
After the 1974 post-Watergate Democratic landslide victories in Congress, Reuss defeated the more senior Wright Patman of Texas as chairman of the House Banking Committee. He opposed the war in Vietnam, and supported the campaign of U.S. Senator Eugene J. McCarthy for the 1968 Democratic presidential nomination. He served as an at-large delegate for McCarthy at the Democratic National Convention that year.
He was not a candidate for reelection to the Ninety-eighth Congress in 1982. After retiring from Congress, he continued to donate to Democratic campaigns, including to Senator Russ Feingold's and Paul Tsongas's campaigns in 1992. Mrs. Reuss was a bigger and more active donor to Democrats and related groups.
In 1942, he married Margaret Magrath (c. 1920-2008). She was an alumna of Bryn Mawr College who earned a master's degree from the University of Chicago in 1944, and a Ph.D. from George Washington University in 1968, both in economics. She worked at the Office of Price Administration in the 1940s, and taught at Federal City College from 1970. University of District of Columbia took over FCC in 1977, and she continued teaching there until she retired in 1985, as department chairman. She served mayor Marion Barry in several capacities, supported the Community for Creative Non-Violence, Emily's List, and various Democrats. They had four children, seven grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. Their children were:
leading liberal in Congress on issues from interest rates to pollution to Watergate to aid for New York City
...a thoughtful and creative congressman who represented the North Side of Milwaukee...