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Timothy Hobson

Priscilla Hiss's son by her first husband Thayer Hobson, Tim Hobson, who was born in 1926, was raised by the Hisses and moved with them to Washington in 1933.

In 1948, Whittaker Chambers was asked by HUAC to provide details about his knowledge of the Hiss family in the 1930s. Chambers did so on August 7, 1948. Many details he offered were wrong. Chambers described young Tim inaccurately as a "puny, nervous little boy." He also incorrectly described Tim's schooling (see the entry for Thayer Hobson).

Chambers said that he visited the Hiss household every week in 1937 (which the Hisses denied), beginning early that year. At that time, Hobson had just been run over by a car and was subsequently confined to bed for weeks. Chambers did not mention this near-fatal accident and injury to any of the investigators. (When the Hisses' former maid, Martha Pope, was questioned by the FBI, she remembered Hobson's accident in great detail.)

In 1949, as Hiss was preparing for trial, Hobson, then 22, said he would testify that Chambers did not visit the house in 1937. He would also have testified that Alger Hiss did not bring home State Department documents, and that Priscilla Hiss did not type copies of the documents that Alger Hiss did not bring home. The FBI interviewed Hobson, who would later say that his interview amounted to "blackmail." Click here to read Hobson's account.

After his stepfather went to jail, Hobson decided to become a doctor. He put himself through pre-med courses at New York University by working nights as an orderly at Bellevue Hospital. A Navy discharge made it difficult for Hobson to get admitted to an American medical school, so he learned French in a single summer and enrolled at a Swiss medical school in Geneva. He was later an intern, and Chief Surgical Resident, at Mt. Zion Hospital in San Francisco. Hobson married, had four children, and practiced medicine in California and Wyoming. Now retired, divorced, and residing in the Bay Area, Hobson is the last living eyewitness to the events of the Hiss case.