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  Dockweiler, John F.
NameJohn F. Dockweiler
Los Angeles, California , United States
Born September 19, 1895
DiedJanuary 31, 1943 (47 years)
ContributorSummer Intern
Last ModifedDavid
Jun 21, 2021 08:39am
InfoJohn Francis Dockweiler

John Dockweiler served three terms in the U.S. Congress, from 1933 to 1939, before winning the 1940 District Attorney's race against incumbent Buron Fitts. One of his first responsibilities was to prepare for the prosecution of Bugsy Siegel for a gangland murder in Hollywood. The case, which finally went to trial in January 1942, was dismissed by the judge after the prosecution's star witness conveniently fell to his death from a New York hotel room window.

Dockweiler instituted reforms in the District Attorney's Office, including a ban on office investigators working as security guards at the Santa Anita racetrack. He created the Bureau of Crime Research and Prevention and reorganized the Bureau of Investigation, bringing it under civil-service regulation. This ended the disruptive practice of treating investigators' jobs as a matter of political patronage. Dockweiler was investigating allegations of police brutality in Los Angeles when he died suddenly of pneumonia in 1943.


born in Los Angeles September 19, 1895; attended parochial schools; was graduated from Loyola College, Los Angeles in 1918 and from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles in 1921; attended the law department of Harvard University; was admitted to the bar September 6, 1921, and commenced practice in Los Angeles in 1922; elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-third, Seventy-fourth, and Seventy-fifth Congresses (March 4, 1933-January 3, 1939); was not a candidate for renomination in the primaries in 1938, but was an unsuccessful candidate for nomination as Governor; in the general election was an unsuccessful Independent candidate for reelection to the Seventy-sixth Congress; resumed the practice of law; district attorney of Los Angeles County 1940-1943; died in Los Angeles, Calif., January 31, 1943; interment in Calvary Cemetery.

Sources: Library of Congress, For the People: Inside the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office 1850-2000 by Michael Parrish



Title Purchase Contributor

Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

Date Category Headline Article Contributor

Importance? 7.00000 Average

Wife Irene M. Dockweiler 00, 0000-Jan 31, 1943
Father Isidore B. Dockweiler 0000-

  11/08/1938 CA District 16 Lost 21.20% (-41.63%)
  08/30/1938 CA Governor - D Primary Lost 18.96% (-23.02%)
  08/30/1938 CA Governor - R Primary Lost 1.21% (-53.64%)
  11/03/1936 CA District 16 Won 57.74% (+15.49%)
  11/06/1934 CA District 16 Won 98.78% (+97.57%)
  08/28/1934 CA District 16 - D Primary Won 58.29% (+16.59%)
  08/28/1934 CA District 16 - R Primary Won 50.45% (+14.05%)
  11/08/1932 CA District 16 Won 54.93% (+9.85%)
  08/30/1932 CA District 16 - D Primary Won 59.47% (+45.51%)
  11/04/1930 CA District 10 Lost 25.02% (-49.96%)