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Priscilla Hiss

Alger Hiss's wife was said by Whittaker Chambers to have typed copies of State Department documents brought home from work by her husband. Until her death, Mrs. Hiss steadfastly maintained that she and her husband were innocent of all charges. When Allen Weinstein's "Perjury" was first released in galley form, it contained a passage that reportedly quoted Mrs. Hiss confessing her husband's guilt at a dinner party in 1968. Mrs. Hiss protested sharply, and Weinstein deleted the story. For more about this, click here.

A Bryn Mawr graduate and a grade school English teacher at New York's Dalton School when the Hiss case began, Mrs. Hiss had a hard time finding work after her husband went to jail. She eventually landed a job in the basement of a Doubleday Book Shop - the management didn't want her face seen by customers. In later years, she worked in an art gallery and in publishing. After the Hisses separated in 1959, she became active in local reform Democratic politics in Greenwich Village, serving on the executive board of the Village Independent Democrats, the club from which Mayor Ed Koch emerged. Toward the end of her life, Priscilla Hiss was appointed to Manhattan's Community Planning Board No. 2 by Borough President Percy Sutton.