Alger Hiss (1904-1996) was an American diplomat and liberal Democrat, a former State Department official, controversially imprisoned in 1950 for allegedly having spied for the USSR.
Hiss, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and one of President Roosevelt's advisers at the 1945 Yalta conference, was accused in 1948 by a former Soviet agent, Whittaker Chambers (1901-1961), of having passed information to the USSR during the period (1926-1937).
He was convicted of perjury for swearing before the House Committee to Investigate Un-American Activities that he had not spied for the USSR (under the statute of limitations he could not be convicted of the original crime).
Richard Nixon was a leading member of the prosecution, which inspired the subsequent anticommunist witch-hunts of Senator Joe McCarthy. There are doubts about the justice of Hiss's conviction.
Why is Alger Hiss famous?
Alger Hiss was an American lawyer, government official, diplomat and liberal Democrat.