Abe Goff

Abe Goff bigraphy, stories - American politician and civil seveant

Abe Goff : biography

December 21, 1899 – November 23, 1984

Abe McGregor Goff (December 21, 1899 – November 23, 1984) was an attorney and Republican politician from the U.S. state of Idaho, most notably as a one-term congressman from 1947 to 1949. He served in the U.S. Army in both world wars.

World War II

Later the same year, he was activated as a member of the U.S. Army Reserves as a major, and served in the Mediterranean, European, and Pacific theaters. Goff was on General MacArthur’s staff at the end of the war and was discharged as a colonel in 1946. While in the military, he was awarded the Legion of Merit.

Early years

Goff was born and raised in Colfax, Washington, in the Palouse region. After serving as a private during World War I, he entered the law school at the University of Idaho in nearby Moscow and graduated in 1924. He was also the center on the Vandal football team. and was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity.


Goff married Florence Letitia Richardson (1892–1987) of Moscow in 1927. They were married for 57 years and are buried at Moscow Cemetery, east of the city. They had two children: Timothy Richardson Goff (1932–72) and Annie McGregor Goff (b. 1935).

After Congress

After leaving the House, Goff took a number of government posts in Washington, D.C., to the chagrin of his daughter. He was general counsel of the Post Office Department, and later served on the Interstate Commerce Commission, from 1954 to 1967. After his terms ended, he retired to the Palouse in Idaho, working as a writer and lecturer in Moscow until his death in 1984.


In the 1946, Goff was elected to Congress as a Republican, defeating seven-term incumbent Compton White of Clark Fork. He served only one term, as White defeated him in 1948 and reclaimed the seat for a term.

U.S. House elections (Idaho’s 1st district): Results 1946–1948
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1946 Compton White (inc.) 36,509 49.4% Abe M. Goff 37,326 50.6%
1948 Compton White 46,846 51.8% Abe M. Goff (inc.) 41,404 45.7% Thomas B. Wood Progressive 2,176 2.4% ^

Source:    ^ 1948 election included 93 votes (0.1%) for Socialist Party candidate Richard M. Shaefer.

Early career

Goff commenced practice in Moscow the same year and was the prosecuting attorney for Latah County from 1926 to 1934. He also worked as a special lecturer at the UI law school from 1933 to 1941. In 1940, he was made president of the Idaho Bar Association. In 1941, Goff was elected to the state senate.