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Dalip Singh Saund

Preceded by John J. Phillips
Succeeded by George Brown, Jr.

Born September 20, 1899(1899-09-20)
Chhajulwadi, Punjab, India
Died April 22, 1973
Nationality American United States
Political party Democratic
Religion Sikh

Dalip Singh Saund (Punjabi: ਦਲੀਪ ਸਿੰਘ ਸਾਓੁਂਦ)(September 20, 1899–April 22, 1973) was a member of the United States House of Representatives. He served the 29th district of the state of California from January 3, 1957–January 3, 1963. He was the first Asian American, Indian American and Sikh member of the United States Congress. He is to date the only Sikh to have served in Congress, though Congressman Martin Hoke (R-OH) lived as a Sikh for a period of time in the 1970s.

Born in Chhajulwadi, Punjab, India, to a Sikh family, he received his bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Punjab in 1919.

He immigrated to the United States, originally to study agriculture at the University of California, Berkeley. While at the university, he obtained a master's degree (1922) and a Ph.D. (1924), both in mathematics. He thereafter remained in the United States, becoming a successful farmer.

Later, he campaigned to allow "Hindus," as all people of South Asian descent were called at that time, to become naturalized citizens. After the Luce-Celler Act was passed in 1946, he applied for naturalization and became an American citizen in 1949. He ran for election in 1950 as a Justice of the Peace for Westmoreland township, California, and won the election, but his election was thrown out as he had been a citizen for less than a year. He later ran again for the same post and won.

In November 1955, he announced his campaign to run for the United States House of Representatives as a Democrat and won an election for an open seat against a famous Republican aviator, Jacqueline Cochran. He was re-elected twice, becoming the first Asian American, the first Indian American and first member of a non-Abrahamic faith to be elected to Congress. In May 1962, he suffered a severe stroke which left him unable to speak at all, or walk without assistance, thus ending his congressional career.


United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John J. Phillips
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 29th congressional district

Succeeded by
George Brown, Jr.

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