The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers


Corliss Lamont (1902-1995)

Philosopher, poet, and author, Corliss Lamont chaired the National Council of Soviet Friendship following World War II. Educated at Harvard and Columbia, Lamont took a keen interest in the political history of the Soviet Union and, consequently, became a prime target of Joseph McCarthy's supporters in the early 1950s who were convinced that his sympathy for state-sponsored socialism made him dangerously "un-American." Lamont helped focus anti-leftist agitation against members of the academic elite, becoming a popular target for those who believed that American universities were a breeding ground for subversive politics. An ardent champion of civil liberties, he believed that McCarthy's crusade against left-wing liberals represented a dangerous attempt to regulate speech. He served as the director of the American Civil Liberties Union and as chairman of the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee, eventually winning the Gandhi Peace Award in 1981 for his work. He died in 1995 at his home in New York.
Sources: Anna Rothe, ed., Current Biography: Who's News and Why, 1946 (New York: The H. W. Wilson Company, 1947), pp. 320-321; "Obituary: Corliss Lamont." University of Waterloo. Internet on-line. Available From http://www.math.uwaterloo.ca/~kerrlaws/Santayana/Bulletin/s7_95.htm.