Alger Hiss

American government official who was accused of spying for the Soviet Union (1904-1996)

Alger Hiss (November 11, 1904 – November 15, 1996) was an American government official. In 1948, he was accused of having spied for the Soviet Union in the 1930s. He was convicted of perjury in connection with this charge in 1950. Before the trial Hiss was part in the creation of the United Nations.

Alger Hiss
Hiss testifying in 1948
Born(1904-11-11)November 11, 1904
DiedNovember 15, 1996(1996-11-15) (aged 92)
EducationJohns Hopkins University, Harvard Law School
Known forConviction for perjury related to espionage
Criminal charge2 counts of perjury
Criminal penalty2 terms of 5 years in prison, to run concurrently.
Criminal statusReleased from prison after 3 years and 8 months imprisonment
Priscilla Hiss
(m. 1929; died 1984)

Isabel Johnson (m. 1985)
ChildrenTony Hiss, Timothy Hobson (stepson)
Parent(s)Mary Lavinia Hughes, Charles Alger Hiss
RelativesBosley Hiss, brother; Donald Hiss, brother; Anna Hiss, sister; Mary Ann Hiss, sister
AwardsHonorary degree from Johns Hopkins (LL.D 1947) [1]

Hiss died of emphysema on November 15, 1996, at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, four days after his 92nd birthday.[2]


  1. "Honorary Degrees Awarded". Archived from the original on February 21, 2018. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  2. "Alger Hiss Dead at 92". Boston Globe. November 16, 1996. Retrieved March 17, 2008. Alger Hiss, the high-ranking State Department official accused of espionage whose case became one of the most celebrated—and controversial—in US history, died yesterday in Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He was 92.