Huey Long APUSH Definition

Learn about the controversial and charismatic politician, Huey Long, who rose to power during the Great Depression with his populist rhetoric and leftist policies.

Who was Huey Long?

Huey Long, also known as ‘The Kingfish’, was a charismatic and controversial politician who rose to power in Louisiana during the Great Depression. Long served as the Governor of Louisiana from 1928 to 1932 and as a U.S. Senator from 1932 until his assassination in 1935. He was known for his populist rhetoric and leftist policies.

Long’s Rise to Power

Long’s political career began in 1918 when he was elected to the Louisiana Railroad Commission. He quickly gained a reputation for his willingness to challenge the political establishment and his ability to connect with working-class voters. In 1928, he was elected Governor of Louisiana, where he implemented numerous social reforms, including free textbooks for schoolchildren and improved public infrastructure.

Long’s Policies

One of Long’s most famous policies was the ‘Share Our Wealth’ program, which called for the redistribution of wealth to provide every American family with a minimum income. Long believed that the wealthy elite were hoarding resources that should be shared with the less fortunate. This program earned him a large following among the impoverished and disenfranchised.

Long’s Downfall

Long’s radical policies and growing power made him many enemies, both within and outside of Louisiana. In 1935, Long was assassinated by a political rival, cutting short his promising career. Despite his untimely death, Long’s legacy continues to be debated among historians and political scholars.


Huey Long was a complex and polarizing figure in American politics. His populist rhetoric and leftist policies continue to inspire debate and discussion to this day. Whether viewed as a champion of the poor or a dangerous demagogue, Long’s impact on American history cannot be denied.

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