Back to Cast List

The Cast

John McDowell

McDowell was a conservative member of the House Un-American Activities Committee (R-Pennsylania) and a former newspaperman. He played a prominent role in the questioning of Alger Hiss in August 1948. Hiss's answer to McDowell's question about whether he had ever seen a prothonotary warbler convinced many people that Hiss was lying about his relationship with Whittaker Chambers.

McDowell would also figure into the controversy surrounding the Woodstock typewriter, when in a letter written to a constituent in 1956, he said that the FBI had found the typewriter in 1948. This statement, along with others, has fueled speculation that the Woodstock typewriter found by the defense and produced at trial was actually planted by the FBI. McDowell was defeated in a reelection bid in 1948.