Congressman Benjamin Louis Rosenbloom (June 3, 1880-March 22, 1965) of Wheeling was the only Jewish congressman in West Virginia history. Rosenbloom was born in Braddock, Pennsylvania. He attended West Virginia University, playing on the 1901 and 1902 football teams. He later studied law at WVU and was admitted to the West Virginia bar in 1904. He practiced law in Wheeling until his retirement in 1951 and participated actively in the Ohio County Bar Association.
Rosenbloom served as state senator from Wheeling, 1915–19. A Republican, he was elected to Congress in 1920 and reelected in 1922. There he participated in early efforts to halt pollution of the nation’s streams, and he was an outspoken opponent of Prohibition. He left Congress after his second term, unsuccessfully seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. He served as Wheeling’s vice mayor from 1935 to 1939 and also sat on the city council.
Rosenbloom was a member of numerous Wheeling fraternal organizations, including the Moose, Elks, Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, and University Club. He was a contributing member of Wheeling’s Jewish community and belonged to the Jewish fraternal organization B’nai B’rith. He died in Cleveland, Ohio.
Written by Deborah R. Weiner
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