Marion Anthony Zioncheck

Marion Anthony Zioncheck

Osiek, Małopolskie, Poland
Death 7 Aug 1936 (aged 35)
Seattle, King County, Washington, USA
Burial Seattle, King County, Washington, USA
Plot Section 3, Lot 0349, Grave 3
Memorial ID 10777 · View Source
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US Congressman. He was born Marjan Antoni Zajaczek (later Marion Anthony Zioncheck) one of three children (he also had two sisters, Janina Zajaczek (Jennie "Jay" Zioncheck) was born in 1900, and Norma Zajaczek (Norma Zioncheck) was born in 1913) in Osiek, Poland (some sources say Kęty, Galicia, Poland, then in the Austro-Hungarian Empire) to Klemens Zajaczek (later Clements Zioncheck) and Franciska Wlodyga Zajaczek (later Frances Zionchek). The family immigrated to the United States when he was about fours old and settled in the Seattle, Washington, area. He was educated at local common public schools and eventually attended the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, where he studied law, beginning in 1919. He was President of the school's student's government, The Associated Students of the University of Washington (or ASUW) in 1927. He graduated from the University of Washington's law department in 1929 and was admitted to the bar that same year. He commenced to practicing law in Seattle, Washington, and worked at that for some time before deciding to enter politics. He became a popular left-wing leader of the Democratic Party and in the Washington Commonwealth Federation or WCF, which was a political pressure group established in the State of Washington in 1934 as "Commonwealth Builders, Incorporated" (or CBI), that had supported his election to the United States Congress in the 1932 election. He first served as Delegate to the Democratic State Conventions from 1932 to 1934. He then decided to run for a seat in the United States Congress and was elected. A Democrat, he then served Washington's 1st District (Seventy-Third and Seventy-Fourth Congresses) in the United States House of Representatives from 1933 to 1936. While serving in the United States Congress he championed then-President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal policies but his work on behalf of the Neal Deal was always overlooked because of his strange behaviour during this time. He was seen dancing on fountains and driving on the lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C. He was persistently hassled by journalists and picked on by critics of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. On April 28, 1936, he married Rubye Louis Nix in Annapolis, Maryland, but the couple had no children. Two days after the couple's marriage then-Secretary of the Interior Harold LeClair Ickes had written in his diary and told the story of how Congressman Zioncheck had asked him to officiate his wedding and he said he did not have authority to do so. This was however not true, he knew of Congressman Zioncheck's behaviour and he just did not want to do it. All of this pressure led to Congressman Zioncheck being highly depressed and included even more bizarre behaviour. After the couple's wedding in Annapolis, Maryland, they honeymooned in San Juan, Puerto Rico, beginning on May 8, 1936, before returning to Seattle, Washington, shortly thereafter. On May 30, 1936, he and his wife had an argument during a party at there apartment. He left the apartment and was missing for two days before he was arrested on a lunacy warrant on June 1, 1936. After his arrest, he was placed in the Gallinger Municipal Hospital Psychopathic Ward in Washington, D.C. His doctors blamed his erratic behaviour on being overworked and on his hectic lifestyle. He was later sent to a private facility in Towson, Maryland, but he escaped from there and fled back to Washington, where he was granted congressional immunity. On August 1, 1936, he told his friend and ally United States Representative Warren Grant Magnuson that he was going to retire and Magnuson then took him on his word and filed his papers to get Congressman Zioncheck's seat in the United States Congress. However, this was not true he was running for reelection. Sadly, he died while still in office less than a week later. On August 7, 1936, while running for reelection for another term in the United States Congress he jumped from the fifth window of his campaign office in the Arctic Building in Seattle, Washington, and fell to his death. Ironically, his body landed on the pavement in front of the car that his wife was sitting in. He left a suicide note that simply read, "My only hope in life was to improve the condition of an unfair economic system that held no promise to those that all the wealth of even a decent chance to survive let alone live." He was only 34 years old at the time of death. After his death in office on August 7, 1936, he was succeeded in office by United States Representative Warren Grant Magnuson. At his funeral, he was mourned by friends, family, and colleagues alike, with both the University of Washington and the Boeing Company closing down for more than half a day in his memory. He was buried in the Evergreen-Washelli Cemetery in Seattle, Washington. His wife Rubye passed away in Los Angeles, California, on September 12, 1992, at the age of 77, and was buried at East Lawn Palms Cemetery and Mortuary in Tucson, Arizona, with her second husband, Joseph Gordon Wilson. He was the subject of the work, "Ode To Congressman Marion Zioncheck" by Grant Cogswell. He is also the subject of Phil Campbell's "Zioncheck For President: A True Story Of Idealism And Madness In American Politics" (2005), which entails Grant Cogswell's obsession with the late Congressman Zioncheck. The work was made into a feature film, "Grassroots" in 2010, by producer and director Stephen Gyllenhaal.

Bio by: Peterborough K

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 10 Jul 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 10777
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Marion Anthony Zioncheck (5 Dec 1900–7 Aug 1936), Find a Grave Memorial no. 10777, citing Evergreen-Washelli Memorial Park, Seattle, King County, Washington, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .