(August 30, 1893 – September 10, 1935), nicknamed "The Kingfish", was an American politician who served as the 40th governor of Louisiana from 1928 to 1932 and was a member of the United States Senate from 1932 until his assassination in 1935.
As the political leader of Louisiana, he commanded wide networks of supporters and was willing to take forceful and dictatorial action.
He established the long-term political dominance and dynasty of the Long family.
During Long's years in power, large expansions were made in infrastructure, education and health care.
Long was notable among southern politicians for avoiding race baiting and explicit white supremacy, and he sought to improve the conditions of impoverished blacks as well as impoverished whites.
Under Long's leadership, hospitals and educational institutions were expanded, a system of charity hospitals was set up that provided health care for the poor, and massive highway construction and free bridges brought an end to rural isolation.
A Democrat and an outspoken left-leaning populist, Long denounced the wealthy urban Baton Rouge and D.C.
elites, oligarchs and the banks.
Initially a supporter of Franklin D.
Roosevelt during his first 100 days in office, Long eventually came to believe that Roosevelt's "New Deal" policies were an insufficient compromise and did not do enough to alleviate the issues of the poor or tackle the Depression.
As a result, he developed his own solution called the "Share Our Wealth" program, which would establish a net asset tax, the earnings of which would be redistributed so as to curb the poverty and homelessness epidemic nationwide during the Great Depression.Long's Share Our Wealth plan was established on February 23, 1934 with the motto "Every Man a King." To stimulate the economy, Long advocated extensive federal spending on public works, schools and colleges, and old age pensions.
Long argued that his plan would enable everyone to have at least a car, a radio, and a home worth $5,000.Long split with Roosevelt in June 1933 to plan his own presidential bid for 1936 in alliance with the influential Roman Catholic priest and rightwing populist radio commentator Father Charles Coughlin.
Long however was assassinated in 1935, and his national movement soon faded, but his legacy continued in Louisiana through his wife, Senator Rose McConnell Long; his son, Senator Russell B.
Long; and his brothers, Earl Kemp Long and George S.
Long, as well as several other more distant relatives.
He remains a controversial figure in Louisiana history.