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Donald Hiss, Brother of Alger, Was Accused of Spying

May 20, 1989 GMT

ST. MICHAELS, Md. (AP) _ Donald Hiss, who with his brother Alger was accused of being part of a Washington espionage ring in the 1940s, has died of lung cancer. He was 82.

Hiss died Thursday at his home here.

Hiss retired 13 years ago from the Washington law firm of Covington & Burling, which he joined in 1945 after holding posts in the federal government.

In 1948, Donald and Alger Hiss were identified as spies by Whittaker Chambers, a Time magazine senior editor and admitted former Communist, in testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee.


Donald Hiss, who denied the allegations, was not prosecuted. Alger Hiss was convicted of perjury and has devoted much of his life to unsuccessful efforts to overturn that judgment.

Donald Hiss, a native of Baltimore, graduated from Johns Hopkins University. He received a law degree from the Harvard Law School in 1932 and served for a year as secretary to Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Hiss joined the New Deal administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933 as a lawyer in the solicitor’s office of the Department of Labor and later served in the Department of State’s Office of Philippine Affairs.

During World War II, Donald Hiss was an assistant to Dean Acheson, then assistant secretary of state in charge of economic affairs and later secretary of state.

After his retirement, he moved to this town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

In addition to his brother, he is survived by his wife, the former Catherine G. Jones; a son; two daughters; and three grandchildren.

A private service was to be held Saturday.