Thomas J. Walsh
Historical Figure
Nationality: United States
Date of Birth: 1859
Date of Death: 1933
Cause of Death: Heart attack
Occupation: Lawyer, politician, educator
Spouse: Elinor McClements (m. 1889, d. 1917)
Mina Nieves Perez Chaumont de Truffin (m. Feb. 1933)
Children: Genevieve
Political Party: Democratic Party
Political Office(s): United States Senator from Montana
Fictional Appearances:
Joe Steele
POD: 1878;
Relevant POD: July, 1932
Novel or Story?: Novel only
Type of Appearance: Direct (unnamed)
Political Office(s): United States Senator from Montana

Thomas James Walsh (June 12, 1859 – March 2, 1933) was a lawyer and Democratic Party politician from Helena, Montana who represented Montana in the United States Senate from 1913 to 1933. He had a national reputation as a liberal, opposing child labor and supporting women's suffrage. He was President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt's choice for Attorney General when he died of a heart attack on the way to Roosevelt's inauguration in 1933. Rumors of poisoning by one faction or another abound, but are unsubstantiated.

Along the way, Walsh was chairman of the Democratic National Convention in 1924 and in 1932.

Thomas J. Walsh in Joe Steele[]

Thomas J. Walsh was the chairman of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1932. It was an unruly convention, and saw days of voting as the field narrowed to Representative Joe Steele of California and Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt of New York.[1] On the second day, Roosevelt had a slight lead.[2] However, Roosevelt was killed in a fire in the Executive Mansion in Albany.[3] When he was informed, Roosevelt's field-boss James Farley had no choice but to alert Chairman Walsh and release the New York delegation to vote as it saw fit. Joe Steele won the nomination.[4]

Literary Comment[]

Walsh is not named, but there's no reason to think someone else was the chairman.


  1. Joe Steele, pgs. 10-12.
  2. Ibid., pg. 15.
  3. Ibid., pgs. 18-21.
  4. Ibid., pgs. 22-24.
Political offices
Preceded by
Joseph M. Dixon
United States Senator from Montana
Succeeded by
John E. Erickson