Vincent Hallinan

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Vincent Hallinan

Vincent Hallinan Esq., of California, was an American lawyer and a candidate for President of the United States for the Progressive Party in the 1952 election. Vivian was accused of being a Communist Party USA member.[1] He died at the age of 95 in 1992.[2]

Hallinan was married to Vivian Hallinan for 60 years, and was survived by five sons: Terence Hallinan, Matthew Hallinan, Patrick Hallinan, Conn Hallinan and Daniel Hallinan.[3]


Born the son of a cable-car conductor in the city's Mission District when it was an Irish enclave, Mr. Hallinan revealed at an early age that he was a man of broad interests, exceptional abilities and passionate political beliefs.

While a student at Ignatius College, which later became the University of San Francisco, he edited the college magazine, played on the basketball team, was captain of the football team and was the school's champion boxer.

Yet he still found time, according to his son and other sources, to collect money and guns for rebels in Ireland and India.

"His father was a labor organizer on the old Market Street Railway," son Terence Hallinan said. "His grandfather left Ireland under the threat of death. He came from a long tradition of rebels."

After serving in the Navy during World War I, Hallinan returned to school for a law degree. Then he launched a legal career that included defending numerous labor and left-wing activists.

Perhaps his most famous client was waterfront labor leader Harry Bridges, who led strikes that nearly shut down the city in the 1930s. The U.S. Justice Department three times tried to deport the Australian-born Bridges, claiming he had perjured himself when swearing he was not a Communist while he took out citizenship papers years earlier.

Mr. Hallinan so fiercely defended Bridges in the nationally publicized final trial in 1950 that he was cited for contempt and given a six-month prison sentence.[4]

Progressive Party

In 1952, Mr. Hallinan was nominated as the presidential candidate for the Independent Progressive Party, which had been founded in 1947 by Henry Wallace. His running mate was Charlotta Bass. Mr. Hallinan launched his campaign with a speech at a peace rally, where he called for an immediate end to the fighting in Korea.

"Peace, economic security, equality and freedom are wrapped up in a single bundle," he said at the time.

Terence Hallinan, himself a former boxer and longtime anti-war activist, described his father as "a guy way ahead of his time."[5]

Communist Party supporter

Vincent Hallinan as a founding member of the San Francisco chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, officially designated a front of the Communist Party USA, and defended secret Communist Party member and labor leader Harry Bridges.

He was a self-described “roaring atheist” who specialized in attacks on the Catholic Church. In one case, according to the New York Times, he “sued the Roman Catholic Church for fraud, demanding that it prove the existence of heaven and hell.”

Vincent Hallinan also ran for president on the ticket of the Progressive Party, “a creature of the Communist apparatus, and completely dominated by the Communist Party USA from start to finish,” a House subcommittee said.

A 1961 subcommittee report says that Vincent Hallinan traveled to the Soviet Union with his wife to vouch for the legitimacy of the communist show trial of Francis Gary Powers, the American U-2 pilot shot down over the Soviet Union. Powers’ mission had been to document the Soviet missile build-up. It adds, “[Vincent] Hallinan’s glowing accounts of the Soviet Union and favorable comments concerning the fairness accorded Powers at his trial were sold in great quantity by the Communist Book Stores both in San Francisco and in Los Angeles.”

A 1953 edition of the report states that Vincent Hallinan was a participant in a meeting of the Committee to Secure Justice in the Rosenberg Case, a “Communist front organization.” The Rosenbergs were Communists executed for committing atomic espionage against the United States on behalf of the Soviet Union.

National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee

As of May 1964, Vincent Hallinan, attorney, San Fransisco, California, was listed as a sponsor of the Communist Party USA front, National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Herbert Aptheker Testimonial Dinner

On April 28, 1966 Vincent Hallinan was a sponsor of the Herbert Aptheker Testimonial Dinner. The dinner was held on the occasion of Herbert Aptheker's 50th birthday, the publication of his 20th book, and the 2nd anniversary of the American Institute for Marxist Studies. It was held in the Sutton Ballroom, The New York Hilton, Avenue of the Americas, 53rd to 54th Street, New York City. Most speakers, organizers and sponsors were known members or supporters of the Communist Party USA.[6]

GI Civil Liberties Defense Committee

Circa 1969, Vincent Hallinan, Esq., San Francisco , was listed as a sponsor of the Socialist Workers Party led GI Civil Liberties Defense Committee .[7]

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