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Richard Lewis Neuberger

NEUBERGER, RICHARD LEWIS (1912–1960), U.S. senator, journalist, and author. Neuberger, born near Portland, Oregon, graduated from the University of Oregon (1935), where he edited the student newspaper. He began writing in 1928, and in 1933 The Nation published an article of his that realistically described the Nazi persecution of Jews and the preparation for war, which he had witnessed on a visit through Germany. From 1939 to 1954 he was the New York Times' Northwest correspondent. Neuberger served in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1941 to 1942, when he entered the U.S. Army. An aide-de-camp to General James O'Connor during the construction of the Alaska Military Highway, he left the army a captain in 1945.

In 1948 Neuberger was elected to the State Senate, and in 1955 he became the first Democratic U.S. senator from Oregon in 40 years. An affable liberal, Neuberger was active on behalf of natural conservation, civil rights, cancer research (he was himself afflicted), housing measures, Congressional reform, and Alaska statehood. He was chairman of the Subcommittee on Indian Affairs and a member of the Interior and Public Works committees, which dealt with conservation.

His books, which generally discuss politics and conservation in the northern U.S., include An Army of the Aged (with Kelley Loe, 1936), IntegrityThe Life of George W. Norris (with S.B. Kahn, 1937), Our Promised Land (1938), The Lewis and Clark Expedition (1951), Royal Canadian Mounted Police (1953), and Adventures in Politics (1954).

His wife, H. MAURINE (BROWN) NEUBERGER (1907–2000)–who was not Jewish–served in the State House of Representatives from 1951 to 1955. The couple gained notice as the first married couple in U.S. history to serve together in a legislature–he in the Oregon Senate and she in the House. She worked closely with her husband, completing his Senate term after his death. In 1960 she was elected to the Senate, serving until 1967. She was the third woman elected to the U.S. Senate and the only woman from Oregon to serve in the legislative body.


New York Times (March 10, Nov. 10, 1960); U.S. Congress, 86th Congress 2nd Session, Richard Lewis Neuberger (1960). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: S. Neal (ed.), They Never Go Back to Pocatello: The Selected Essays of Richard Neuberger (2000); Memorial Services: Held in the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States, Together With Remarks Presented in Eulogy of Richard Lewis Neuberger (1960).

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.