Bloom, Sol, 1870-1949
Sol Bloom (March 9, 1870 – March 7, 1949) was a songwriter, real estate investor, and American politician. A member of the Democratic Party, he served fourteen terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from the West Side of Manhattan representing the 19th (1923-1945) and 20th (1945-1949) congressional districts.
Born in Pekin, Illinois, he and his parents soon moved to San Francisco, California. Bloom first went to work in San Francisco at the age of seven and made his way up from the factory to the theater to the import business. As a young man, he moved to Chicago to manage the Midway amusements at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. His lucrative music publishing company (which issued songs that he wrote) led him to settle in New York in 1903. Seven years later, Bloom devoted himself to the real estate business, and made another fortune by building substantial apartment houses and some of Manhattan’s best known theaters (including the Apollo, Harris, and Music Box). When Representative-elect Samuel Marx of New York's 19th Congressional District died in 1922, Bloom was invited to run and won the usually Republican "silk stocking district" of Manhattan's Upper East Side by 145 votes.
Bloom was the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee from 1939 to 1947 and again in 1949, during a critical period of American foreign policy. In the run-up to World War II, he took charge of high-priority foreign-policy legislation for the Roosevelt Administration, including authorization for Lend Lease in 1940. He oversaw Congressional approval of the United Nations and of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) which worked to assist millions of displaced people in Europe. He was a member of the American delegation at the creation of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945 and at the Rio Conference of 1947.
Bloom was especially concerned with the fate of European Jews but was unable to overcome very strong resistance to admitting Jews or any refugees before the war. He argued vigorously after the war that the United States needed to take in larger numbers of refugees. He adopted the Zionist position that mandated Palestine should become the refuge for Jewish victims of the Holocaust. He urgently lobbied President Harry Truman in 1948 to immediately recognize the Jewish state of Israel, which Truman did. When the Republicans took control of the Foreign Affairs Committee after the 1946 election, Bloom worked closely with the new chairman, Charles Eaton. They secured approval for the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan.
Bloom died in Washington, D.C. His body was interred in Mount Eden Cemetery in Westchester Hills, New York. He was succeeded in Congress by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr.
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|New York City||NY||US|
|District of Columbia||DC||US|
|Lend-lease operations (1941-1945)|
|Civil service--United States|
|World War, 1939-1945--Refugees|
|Representatives, U.S. Congress--New York (State)|
|Real estate investors|