Adolph J. Sabath
|35th Dean of the United States House of Representatives|
April 1, 1934 – November 6, 1952
|Preceded by||Edward W. Pou|
|Succeeded by||Robert L. Doughton|
|Chair of the House Rules Committee|
January 3, 1949 – November 6, 1952
|Preceded by||Leo E. Allen|
|Succeeded by||Leo E. Allen|
January 3, 1939 – January 3, 1947
|Speaker||Joseph W. Byrns Sr.|
William B. Bankhead
|Preceded by||John J. O'Connor|
|Succeeded by||Leo E. Allen|
|Member of the|
U.S. House of Representatives
March 4, 1907 – November 6, 1952
|Preceded by||Anthony Michalek|
|Succeeded by||James Bowler|
|Constituency||5th district (1907-49)|
7th district (1949-52)
Adolph Joachim Sabath
April 4, 1866
Zabori, Kingdom of Bohemia, Austrian Empire
|Died||November 6, 1952 (aged 86)|
Bethesda, Maryland, United States
|Alma mater||Chicago College of Law|
|Profession||Business (real estate), lawyer|
Adolph Joachim Sabath (April 4, 1866 – November 6, 1952) was a Czech-born American politician. He served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Chicago, Illinois, from 1907 until his death in Bethesda, Maryland on November 6, 1952.
Born in Záboří, Austrian Empire (now Czech Republic) into a Jewish family, he immigrated to America at age 15, became active in real estate, and received his LL.B. degree in 1891 from the Chicago College of Law (now Chicago-Kent College of Law). He served in local offices including justice of the peace (1895-1897) and police magistrate (1897-1906) until election to Congress from the Jewish West Side in 1907. He was active in state and national Democratic party affairs, attending many conventions. In 1911, he received much positive attention in the Czech community in Chicago for his fundraising efforts in the search for Elsie Paroubek, and paid for the child's funeral when her body was discovered.
He was a leading opponent of prohibition in the 1920s. He denounced the prohibition factions, the Anti-Saloon League "and their allied forces and co-workers, the Ku Klux Klan fanatics." Every year from 1925 to 1933, he consistently submitted bills in the House of Representatives, to amend the Eighteenth Amendment and the Volstead Act to allow commerce in beer and wine. In 1929, he came to the defense of his large immigrant constituency by countering claims that they were responsible for the surge in criminal activity during the 1920s. "The bootlegging and gang killings...are not the by-product but the direct product of the Volstead Act, and the supporters of this crime breeding legislation must claim the new cult of American criminals entirely as their own."
As a leading Democrat he chaired the powerful House Rules Committee after 1937. He was an ineffective chairman, with a small weak staff, who proved unable to lead his committee, was frequently at odds with the House leadership, and was inclined to write the President little letters "informing" on House Speakers William B. Bankhead and Sam Rayburn.
Beginning on April 1, 1934, he was the Dean (longest-serving member) of the House and he served as Dean for 18 years, 7 months, and 5 days: the longest time any person had served as Dean until John Dingell passed him on August 8, 2013.
Sabath was an avid New Dealer and an interventionist who strongly supported war against Nazi Germany. It was Sabath who nominated a teenage (later Admiral) Hyman G. Rickover to the United States Naval Academy.
He died of liver disease on November 6, 1952 and was buried at Forest Home Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois, near Chicago.