Profiles In Badassery: Harry Allison Estep

Profiles in Badassery is going on the road this week. As mentioned, I am roadtripping it out to Penn State for hopefully a Boilermaker victory tomorrow. If not, at least I can bring back some fresh Yuengling and add another stadium to my list. As always, there will be another road trip diary as I have done in the past for Michigan State, Indiana, and Illinois. It has become a fun tradition at this point, especially when we manage to pass the Boilermaker Special on the road.

Since I will be a guest in Penn State's house, I wanted to honor one of there own in this column that had Purdue ties. Harry Allison Estep was a U.S. Representative from the state of Pennsylvania that served for six years in the late 1920's and early 1930's. He was also a Boilermaker legislative badass during one of the work financial eras in this country's history. He might not need a wetsuit , but some of the legislation he helped enact like the TVA meant wetsuits were needed later. 

Estep's background

Estep was originally from Pittsburgh. Born in 1884, he would alter move to Indiana where he completed his secondary schooling in Marion. He completed his undergraduate work at Purdue well before the First World War. After graduating from Purdue he would return to Pittsburgh where he finished law school at the University of Pittsburgh in 1913. He was admitted to the bar the next year and commenced his law practice in Pittsburgh.

Time In Congress

Estep's law practice wasn't enough for him, as by 1917 he was serving as the district attorney for Allegheny County, PA. Estep served in this job, likely helping out rival Penn State grads, for the next ten years until he chose to run for Congress.

He ran for Congress starting in 1926. He was elected as a Republican to the 70th Congress, beginning his term on March 4, 1926. He would serve as the Representative for Pennsylvania's 35th District for the next six years before losing a bid for re-election in 1932. It is likely that the Great Depression and backlash against the current Congress played a strong role in him losing his reelection bid. After returning to Pittsburgh he would quietly serve in his law practice until his retirement in 1964. Just four years later he passed away at the age of 84.

So there isn't a ton of information out there about Estep, but I wanted to give the gentleman from Pennsylvania his due. He is one of just three Boilermaker alumni to serve in Congress, joining Birch Bayh and Joe Barton.

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