Dalip Singh Sound

#asianpacificamericanheritagemonthProfilesApril 24, 2023

Dalip Singh Saund (1899-1973) was an Indian-American politician and civil rights activist who became the first Asian American to serve in the United States Congress. Born in Chhajulwadi, Punjab, India (now part of Pakistan), Saund immigrated to the United States to attend college and earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from UC Berkeley.

Before becoming involved in politics in the 1940s, Saund worked as a farmer and a schoolteacher. After obtaining his U.S. citizenship in 1949, he began working as a lobbyist for the Indian American community. He was a strong advocate for civil rights, particularly for Asian Americans, and was active in the fight against discrimination and racism.

In 1956, Saund was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, representing California’s 29th congressional district. He was the first Asian American to be elected to Congress, and he served three terms in office. He worked to pass laws that would benefit immigrants and minorities, and he was an advocate for civil rights and social justice.