Fred Basset Blair

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Fred Basset Blair (October 4, 1906[1] – March 21, 2005[2]) was born in Berlin, Wisconsin in 1906. His family, of French-Canadian heritage, has lived in the state for more than 150 years.

Blair attended the University of Wisconsin as a Zona Gale scholar.

Becoming active in left wing politics, he joined the Communist Party USA in 1929, running for governor in 1930, 1932, 1940, 1942, 1966, and 1974. He also ran for U.S. Senator for Wisconsin in the 1938 election. Blair survived multiple investigations into his activities in the 1940s and 1950s and remained as the head of the Communist Party of Wisconsin into the 1970s. In the governor's race in 1974, he received 3,617 votes.

Blair and his wife Mary ran a bookstore in Milwaukee for 13 years; it was known at different times as Mary's Bookstore, Mark Twain Bookstore and The People's Bookstore. Blair was known for his poetry and love of literature.

In November 1966, a 17-year-old Brookfield Wisconsin youth entered Mary's Bookshop and tried to shoot Blair with a handgun. Blair was not wounded, although a book dealer in the store was shot during a scuffle with the assailant.[3]


  1. ^ Testimony by and concerning Paul Corbin: Hearings, United States. Congress. House. Committee on Un-American Activities, Paul Corbin, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1962, pg. 1320
  2. ^ Rootsweb Social Security Death Index search for Fred B Blair. Retrieved on 10 July 2010.
  3. ^ "Salesman Wounded in Red's Bookstore". The Milwaukee Journal, November 28, 1966.
  • "Fred Blair". Retrieved 2010-01-24.
  • The Milwaukee Journal, May 23, 1947.
  • The Milwaukee Journal, June 27, 1947.
  • Fred B. Blair for Governor Booklet - Communist Party of Wisconsin 1974
  • The New York Times, November 29, 1966 - "Communist beats off youth"