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RG3703.AM:  Eric Hass, 1905-1980

Papers:  1938-1977, n.d.

Lincoln, Lancaster County, Neb.; Chicago, Ill.; Costa Rica:  Editor, author, political activist

Size:  2.3 cu. ft.; 3 boxes


Born in Lincoln, Nebraska on March 4, 1905, Eric Hass attended public school and, for a time, was a student at the University of Nebraska. He worked as a waiter, cook, railroad brakeman, engine-wiper, and newspaper reporter. While working as an advertising salesman in 1928, Hass came into contact with the Socialist Labor Party. In 1930, he went on speaking tours for the Party, and in 1932, he became a National Organizer. In 1938, Hass was called to be the Editor of the Weekly People, which was the official paper of the Socialist Labor Party. He was re-elected to this office in 1940 and served as Editor until 1968 when he resigned. A year later he also resigned from the Socialist Party. Hass was the author of many pamphlets on Socialism and of a volume on the history of the Socialist Labor Party and the Internationalists.

During his time in the Socialist Labor Party, Hass was the Socialist’s nominee for the President of the United States in 1952, 1956, 1960, and 1964. In 1956 and 1960, he received over 46,000 votes. Other offices he ran for on the Socialist Labor Party ticket included governor of New York, United States senator from Oregon, United States senator from New York, and mayor of New York City.

Following his resignation from the Socialist Labor Party, Hass joined the staff of Trinity Church in New York in 1969. Five years later he moved to Costa Rica with his wife Tillie. There they lived on a small farm and Eric free-lanced in travel and natural history subjects for many magazines. After living in Costa Rica for three years, they moved to Santa Rosa, California. Eric Hass died of a heart attack on October 2, 1980.


This collection is arranged in four series: 1) Socialist Labor Party, correspondence; 2) Socialist Labor Party, publications; 3) Personal; and 4) Subject files.

Series 1 includes correspondence with other members of, and matters concerning, the Socialist Labor Party. The series includes correspondence regarding the works of Daniel De Leon, who was a leading voice and active member of the Socialist Labor Party. Other correspondents represented in the collection include Arnold Petersen who was the National Secretary from 1914-1969, and Nathan Karp, also a National Secretary from 1969-1980. Matters dealing with his resignation, involvement within the Party, and work as Editor of Weekly People can also be found in this series.

Series 2, Publications, includes printed material by Eric Hass about the Socialist Labor Party. Also included in this series are newspaper clippings about his political campaigns. Most of the clippings date from the early to mid 1960s.

The personal materials in Series 3 include correspondence with John “Jigs” Gardner. The letters date from 1969-1977 and provide personal thoughts from Eric Hass about life and views on various topics. The letters discuss personal issues as well as thoughts about Hass’ earlier life in Nebraska. Other miscellaneous letters included in this series relate to Hass attempting to gain employment with a nature center, trying to make corrections on his birth certificate, and when his portrait was on display in the National Portrait Gallery. The series also includes Nissen family genealogical materials.

Series 4 consists mainly of articles and publications relating to various topics that Hass was interested in. Most of the subject files relate to nature and travel.

Note: Additional Eric Hass papers are held by the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, Stanford University in Stanford, California.


Series 1 – Socialist Labor Party, correspondence

Box 1


  1. 1940-1965

  2. 1966, Mar.-Oct.

  3. 1966, Nov.-Dec.

  4. 1967

  5. 1968

  6. “Capital” by Marx, 1963, 1967

  7. Commune, 1956

  8. Cuba, 1960-1961

  9. De Leon, Daniel (on reform), 1909-1913, 1962

  10. De Leon, Mrs. Bertha, 1938-1950

  11. Karp, Nathan, 1952, 1966-1967

  12. Long, Robert, 1968-1972

  13. Lowy, Tom, 1967

  14. Lynch, David M. and Timm, John, 1956, 1969

  15. Orange, Aaron M., 1941-1942, 1959-1960

  16. Petersen, Arnold, 1940-1968

  17. Post Editor concerning resignation, 1966-1974

  18. Presidential and mayoral candidate material, 1960-1961

  19. Press Committee, 1946-1953

  20. Press Committee, 1954-1965

  21. Reviews and correspondence while Editor, 1944-1945, 1962-1968, 1970, 1976

  22. SLG conference, 1970

  23. Special committee for membership activity, 1964-1966

  24. Steinmetz, Charles P., 1961, 1968-1969

  25. Taylor, A. J., 1953, 1959

  26. Teichert, Emil, 1959, 1964, 1967

  27. Tumbeff, Gordon, Estate, 1970-1971

  28. White, Leslie, 1949, 1959-1960

Series 2 – Socialist Labor Party, publications

  1. Publications

  2. Publications

  3. Publications, National Convention

  4. Articles about campaign

  5. Articles about campaign

Series 3 – Personal

  1. Correspondence, John “Jigs” Gardner, 1969-1974

  2. Correspondence, John “Jigs” Gardner, 1974-1977

Box 2


  1. Correspondence, nature center employment, 1968-1969

  2. Correspondence, birth certificate corrections, 1973

  3. Correspondence, National Portrait Gallery, 1971-1972

  4. Nissen Family research

  5. Miscellaneous

Series 4 – Subject files

  1. Blackfoot Indians

  2. Costa Rica

  3. Costa Rica

  4. Costa Rica, property and government

  5. Gallup

  6. Golden State Mobilehome Owners League and “Small Talk” Newsletter

  7. Insects and spiders

  8. Inwood Park

  9. Ireland

  10. Ireland, maps

  11. Ireland, pamphlets

  12. Linnaean Newsletter-Birds

  13. Mammals, fossils, and fungi

  14. Medicine

  15. Nature sanctuaries (New York, Coast Rica)

  16. Snakes, reptiles, and turtles

  17. Science and economy articles

  18. Trees, orchids, and plants

Box 3


  1. Tropics and miscellaneous nature

  2. Weather

  3. Wrestling

  4. Yugoslavia

  5. Yugoslavia, cities and sites



Hass, Eric, 1905-1980

Socialist Labor Party

Socialism — United States

Fascism — United States

Labor movement — United States

Weekly People

Petersen, Arnold, 1885-1976

De Leon, Daniel, 1852-1914

Karp, Nathan

Gardner, John “Jigs”


10-25-2005   HP/AW/tmm