Catherine Small Long
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Louisiana's 8th district
March 30, 1985 – January 3, 1987
|Preceded by||Gillis William Long|
|Succeeded by||Clyde C. Holloway|
Mary Catherine Small
February 7, 1924
Dayton, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||November 23, 2019 (aged 95)|
Chevy Chase, Maryland, U.S.
(m. 1947; died 1985)
|Education||Louisiana State University (BA)|
|Branch/service||United States Navy|
|Rank||Pharmacist's mate 2nd class (PhM2c)|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Mary Catherine Small Long (born Mary Catherine Small; February 7, 1924 – November 23, 2019) was an American politician who served as the U.S. representative for Louisiana's 8th congressional district, which she filled from 1985 to 1987, the remainder of the term left by the death of her husband, Gillis William Long. Until it was disbanded in 1993, the 8th district was based in Central Louisiana about Alexandria. She was the first female military veteran elected to Congress, having served as a WAVE in the United States Navy.
Mary Catherine Small was born in Dayton, Ohio, and attended school in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. She served as a hospital corpsman in the United States Navy during World War II. Long earned a B.A. degree from Louisiana State University in 1948.
Long served in the U.S. Navy as a pharmacist's mate. Long became a staff assistant for Oregon senator Wayne Morse and Ohio Representative James G. Polk.
In January 1985, Long's husband died and left a vacancy in Louisiana 8th congressional district. In 1985, when Long announced her candidacy, some of the wives of other U.S. representatives came into the district to campaign on her behalf. Long won the special election, defeating candidates including Republican Clyde C. Holloway, a nurseryman from Forest Hill in southern Rapides Parish, and then State Representative Jock Scott of Alexandria, a Democrat who later switched parties.
In 1986, Long declined to seek a full term as congresswoman in the nonpartisan blanket primary. In another bid for the seat, Holloway narrowly prevailed in the general election even though the Eighth District was among the most historically Democratic in the nation.
In his autobiographical Peapatch Politics: The Earl Long Era in Louisiana Politics, former lieutenant governor and education superintendent William J. "Bill" Dodd, an astute observer of Louisiana politics for a half century, describes Cathy Long, who compiled a liberal voting record in Congress, as the "perfect political wife."
She married Gillis William Long in 1947. Long had two children, George Harrison Long (born October 13, 1954) and Janis Catherine Long (born March 25, 1957).
Long died from complications of dementia at an assisted-living facility in Chevy Chase, Maryland on November 23, 2019, at age 95.