Thursday, December 27, 2007
DAWSON, WILLIAM L.
DAWSON WILLIAM L. Trained as a lawyer, William L. Dawson (1886-1970) devoted most of his life to politics and public service. Originally a Republican, Dawson switched party allegiance in 1939. He subsequently served as a Democratic National Committeeman and later as vice-chairman of the Democratic National Committee. In 1942, he was elected to the United States Congress from the First Illinois District, making him the third northern black to become a Congressman. He held his seat in Congress for fourteen consecutive terms, serving as chairman of the House Committee on Governmental Operations from 1949 until his death in 1970.