Dudley Field Malone

Dudley Field Malone (June 3, 1882 – October 5, 1950)[1] was an American attorney, politician, liberal activist, and actor. Malone is best remembered as one of the most prominent liberal attorneys in the United States during the decade of the 1920s and for his unsuccessful 1920 campaign for Governor of New York.

Dudley Field Malone
Collector of the Port of New York
In office
Preceded byJohn Purroy Mitchel
Succeeded byByron Rufus Newton
Third Assistant Secretary of State
In office
PresidentWoodrow Wilson
Preceded byChandler Hale
Succeeded byWilliam Phillips
Personal details
Born(1882-06-03)June 3, 1882
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedOctober 5, 1950(1950-10-05) (aged 68)
Culver City, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocrat
May Patricia O'Gorman
(m. 1908; div. 1921)

Doris Stevens
(m. 1921; div. 1929)

Edna Louise Johnson
(m. 1930; his death 1950)
ParentsWilliam C. Malone
Rose McKenny Malone
Alma materCollege of St. Francis Xavier
Fordham Law School

Early life

Malone was born on the West Side of Manhattan on June 3, 1882.[1] He was the son of William C. Malone of New York City, a Tammany Hall Democratic official, and Rose (née McKenny) Malone. He graduated from the College of St. Francis Xavier in 1903 and studied law at Fordham Law School, graduating in 1905.[1]

After being admitted to the bar in 1907, he began practicing law and also became active in the Democratic Party in New York, specifically in the reform faction opposed to the Tammany Hall organization. In 1912, he helped organize Woodrow Wilson's successful primary and general election campaign for President.[1]


When Wilson took office in 1913, he rewarded Malone by appointing him Third Assistant Secretary of State. Later in 1913, Wilson appointed him Collector of the Port of New York, an important patronage position. As Collector, Malone resisted all efforts by Tammany to use the Collector's office for patronage. He served as Collector until 1917, when he resigned and was succeeded by Byron R. Newton, the former publicity director of Wilson's presidential campaign.[2]

Malone broke decisively with the Wilson administration in the Fall of 1917, publicly endorsing anti-war Socialist Morris Hillquit for Mayor of New York.[3] Although not a member of the Socialist Party of America himself, Malone found Hillquit's call for an expeditious end to the European war to be compelling, writing in an open letter to Hillquit:

You, as I understand it, advocate no separate peace for America, but the quickest possible peace that can be negotiated in the interests of the masses of all nations, with no annexations and no punitive indemnities. If this be Socialism, it is also sound Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism and Americanism.[3]

Malone had become an advocate of women's suffrage, and resigned to protest Wilson's failure to take up that issue or support a Woman Suffrage Amendment to the Constitution.[4] In 1918, he won the release of a group of suffragettes who had been jailed for anti-Wilson "silent sentinel" demonstrations led by Alice Paul.[5] Malone successfully appealed their convictions for "unlawful assembly" for "obstructing the sidewalk" in front of the White House.[6]

In 1920, Malone ran for Governor of New York as the candidate of the newly organized Farmer-Labor Party.[7][8] In the 1920 election, he got only 69,908 votes out of over 2.8 million cast.[9] From 1920 on, he devoted himself to his law practice, specializing in international divorce cases of wealthy individuals and becoming known as "the greatest international divorce lawyer." He established a branch office in Paris along with former Judge William H. Wadhams.[1]

In 1925, Malone was invited to join Clarence Darrow as co-counsel for the defense of John T. Scopes in the famous "Monkey Trial". In response to Bryan's argument against admitting scientific testimony, Malone gave arguably the best speech of the trial in defense of academic freedom. "I have never learned anything from any man who agreed with me," was one of his famous quotes.[10] In 1927, Malone identified as an Independent and wrote an op-ed in The New York Times denouncing Col. Theodore Roosevelt Jr.'s "attacks on the Governor of this State and your abortive attempts to associate him with any responsibility for commercialized vice."[11]

Malone continued his divorce practice until 1935, when he declared bankruptcy in New York and moved to Westwood, Los Angeles in California. He claimed his debts consisted mostly of sums owed to personal friends, including William K. Vanderbilt, Edward F. Hutton and the late Otto H. Kahn.[12] He served as counsel to 20th Century Fox, and appeared in a few movies as a character actor. As Malone bore a strong resemblance to Winston Churchill, he was called on to play Churchill in the film adaptation of Joseph E. Davies's book Mission to Moscow (1943).[1]

Personal life

On November 14, 1908, he married May Patricia O'Gorman (1884–1961), daughter of Judge and U.S. Senator James Aloysius O'Gorman, at the Church of the Ascension on West 107th Street in New York City. May served overseas with the Red Cross during World War I and later worked with Anne Morgan to restore devastated regions in France.[13] After living apart for several years, she obtained a divorce from him in Paris in 1921.[14]

A few months after his divorce, he married writer and suffragette activist Doris Stevens (1888–1963) on December 9, 1921 in Peekskill, New York. Doris was the first female member of the American Institute of International Law and first chair of the Inter-American Commission of Women.[15] They also divorced in Paris in October 1929,[16] on the ground of abandonment. "Her plea was based on the alleged impossibility of two persons of equally strong mind living harmoniously together."[17]

On January 29, 1930 in London, he married Edna Louise Johnson, an actress whom he had met through the novelist William John Locke.[18] The witnesses at their wedding were Sir William Jowitt, the Attorney General of England, and Lady Cynthia Mosley, a Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent.[18] Before his death in 1950, they were the parents of one son:

  • Dudley Field "Shim" Malone Jr. (1931–1990),[19] a theatrical agent and manager.[20]

In July 1949, three brothers attacked him in a "roadside fight" and he suffered a head gash.[21] Malone died on October 5, 1950 in Culver City, California.[1]


  1. "DUDLEY F. MALONE DIES IN CALIFORNIA; Lawyer, 68, Former Collector of Port Here, Was Long Active in Democratic Party" (PDF). The New York Times. 6 October 1950. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  2. "NEWTON TAKES POST.; Succeeds Dudley Field Malone as Collector of the Port" (PDF). The New York Times. 2 October 1917. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  3. "Malone Backs Hillquit and Socialism," New York Tribune, vol. 77, whole no. 25,913 (October 27, 1917), pg. 16.
  4. "MALONE RESIGNS AS COLLECTOR TO AID SUFFRAGE; Dissatisfied with Treatment by Administration of White House Pickets. TO RESUME LAW PRACTICE But Will Devote Leisure to Fight for Political Freedom of Women. NO WHITE HOUSESTATEMENT Washington Expects Resignation Will Be Accepted--No Break with President. Office a Lucrative One. Mr. Malone's Letter. MALONE RESIGNS TO AID SUFFRAGE Believe Amendment War Measure. Tells of Accomplishments Here. Saw Women Pickets Arrested" (PDF). The New York Times. 8 September 1917. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  5. "MALONE JOINS HILLQUIT.; Ex-Collector to Assist in Defending Publishers of The Masses" (PDF). The New York Times. 11 April 1918. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  6. Hunter v. District of Columbia, 47 App.D.C. 406, 1918 WL 18180 (1918)
  7. "NEW YORK AMERICAN DECLARES FOR SMITH; Says Malone Is Worthy, but Voters Should Prefer Governor to Miller" (PDF). The New York Times. 28 October 1920. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  8. Garraty, John Arthur; Carnes, Mark Christopher; Societies, American Council of Learned (1999). American National Biography. Oxford University Press. p. 384. ISBN 9780195206357. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  9. "MRS. BOOLE POLLED ABOUT 151,000 VOTES; Woman Candidate for Senator on Prohibition Ticket Made Strong Showing. MONROE BANNER COUNTY Miller for Governor Ran Ahead of Wadsworth for Senator in Up-State Districts" (PDF). The New York Times. 14 November 1920. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  10. Dahlberg, Tim; Ward, Mary Ederle; Greene, Brenda (2009). America's Girl: The Incredible Story of How Swimmer Gertrude Ederle Changed the Nation. St. Martin's Press. p. 39. ISBN 9781429925587. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  11. Malone, Dudley Field (8 November 1927). "MALONE SCORES ROOSEVELT; Takes Colonel to Task for" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  12. "DUDLEY F. MALONE FILES AS BANKRUPT; Former Collector of Port Fixes Liabilities at $261,370 and Assets at $62,500" (PDF). The New York Times. 22 December 1935. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  13. "Mrs. Dudley F. Malone" (PDF). The New York Times. 5 October 1961. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  14. "Dudley Field Malone Divorced in Paris; Decree Obtained by Wife Just Revealed" (PDF). The New York Times. 2 December 1921. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  15. "DUDLEY FIELD MALONE TO SAIL WITH A BRIDE; Former Collector Books Passage for Himself and Mrs. Dudley Field Malone" (PDF). The New York Times. 7 December 1921. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  16. "FEMINIST DIVORCES DUDLEY FIELD MALONE; Doris Stevens Gets Decree in Paris From Lawyer--Couple Met as Rival Political Speakers" (PDF). The New York Times. 11 October 1929. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  17. "DUDLEY F. MALONE TO WED IN LONDON; Lawyer, Ex-Assistant Secretary of State, to Marry Today Edna L. Johnson of New York. WEDDING TO BE HIS THIRD He Met His Bride-to-Be Three Years Ago When She Was Studying Music in Paris" (PDF). The New York Times. 29 January 1930. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  18. "DUDLEY F. MALONE WEDS EDNA JOHNSON; Sir William Jowitt and Lady Cynthia Mosley Witnesses of Marriage in Registry Office. THE BRIDE IS UNATTENDED Guests at Wedding Breakfast Include Lady Astor, Peggy Wood,Will Rogers and Cyril Maude" (PDF). The New York Times. 30 January 1930. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  19. "PRESIDENT CHEERS ILL BOY; Wires Son of Dudley F. Malone Before Operation on Coast" (PDF). The New York Times. 7 December 1941. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  20. "Dudley Field Malone, Theatrical Agent, 59". The New York Times. 12 January 1990. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  21. "DUDLEY F. MALONE BEATEN; Two Men Arrested, One Sought After Roadside Fight" (PDF). The New York Times. 3 July 1949. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
Government offices
Preceded by
Chandler Hale
Third Assistant Secretary of State
Succeeded by
William Phillips
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