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Bissell, Richard Mervin, Jr. (18 September 1909–07 February 1994), economics professor and government administrator, was born in Hartford, Connecticut, the son of Richard Bissell, a wealthy insurance executive, and Marie Truesdel. As a young man, Bissell studied at elite educational institutions, including Groton School; Yale University, where he received a B.A. in 1932; and the London School of Economics, where he began his postgraduate work. In 1933 he returned to Yale as an instructor and was promoted to assistant professor before earning his Ph.D. in economics in 1939. In 1940 he married Ann Cornelia Bushnell; they had five children. Described by one friend as “desperately shy,” Bissell seemed destined in 1941 to remain a university educator and scholar. However, the outbreak of World War II dramatically changed his life, as he left Yale to become a member of ...

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Burns, Arthur Frank (27 April 1904–26 June 1987), economist and government official, was born in the Jewish ghetto of Stanislau, Austria, the son of Nathan Burns, a housepainter, and Sarah Juran. Burns immigrated to the United States with his family in 1914, settling in Bayonne, New Jersey. He worked his way through Columbia University, earning an A.B. and an A.M. in 1925 and a Ph.D. in economics in 1934....

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Edwards, Corwin D. (01 November 1901–20 April 1979), economist and government official, was born in Nevada, Missouri, the son of Granville Dennis Edwards, a teacher and minister, and Ida May Moore. Edwards graduated from the University of Missouri with an A.B. in 1920 and a B.J. in 1921, and was a Rhodes Scholar in 1924. He received a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell in 1928. In 1924 he married Janet Morris Ward; they had two children. This marriage ended in divorce in 1947, and in 1948 Edwards married Gertrud Greig, a research associate....

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Goldenweiser, Emanuel Alexander (31 July 1883–31 March 1953), economist and author, was born in Kiev, Russia, the son of Alexander Solomonovich Goldenweiser, a lawyer, criminologist, and author of books on law and sociology, and Sofia Munstein. His father was also a friend and personal adviser to Count Leo Tolstoy. In 1902 Goldenweiser graduated from the First Kiev Gymnasium and then emigrated to the United States, where he was admitted to Columbia University. After receiving a B.A. from Columbia in 1903, he entered Cornell University, earning an M.A. in 1905 and a Ph.D. in 1907. In that latter year he also became a naturalized American citizen....

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Leon Henderson Testing the first of the "Victory" bicycles built without strategic war materials; an OPA stenographer is sitting in the parcel basket. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-102599).

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Henderson, Leon (26 May 1895–19 October 1986), economist and government official, was born in Millville, New Jersey, the son of Chester Henderson, a glass factory worker, and Lida Beebe. When Leon was twelve years old, his father bought a farm with the family’s savings, leaving nothing for Henderson’s further education. While working odd jobs, Henderson graduated from Millville High School in 1913. After a semester at the University of Pennsylvania (having dropped out because of money problems), and with the help of a scholarship, he enrolled at Swarthmore college in 1915. When the United States entered World War I, Henderson enlisted in the army. Discharged in 1919, he returned to Swarthmore, graduating in 1920. From 1920 to 1922 he was a graduate student in economics at the University of Pennsylvania and then became an assistant professor of economics at Carnegie Institute of Technology. Next he joined the administration of Pennsylvania governor ...

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Keyserling, Leon (22 January 1908–09 August 1987), chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, was born in Beaufort, South Carolina, the son of William Keyserling and Jennie Hyman, owners of varied agricultural and mercantile enterprises. Keyserling, a bright student, finished public school in Beaufort, South Carolina at the age of sixteen. Entering Columbia University, he studied with ...

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Lubin, Isador (09 June 1896–06 July 1978), economist and government official, was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, the son of Lithuanian and Polish Jewish immigrants Harris Lubin and Hinda Francke. His father owned a store in Worcester that sold work clothes on credit. While attending high school and Clark University in Worcester, from which he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1916, Lubin worked for his father as a bill collector. This experience showed him the vicissitudes of industrial labor and the need for unemployment insurance. Frequently, his father’s customers could not pay because of seasonal mill layoffs. In college, Lubin became intrigued with the writings of ...

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Harry Dexter White. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-113822).

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White, Harry Dexter (09 October 1892–16 August 1948), Treasury Department official and moving force in the establishment of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Sarah Magilewski and Jacob White, Jews who had emigrated to America from Lithuania shortly before he was born. Following his graduation from high school, White worked in the family hardware business until World War I broke out, at which time he became a volunteer in the army. Commissioned as a first lieutenant, he served in France but did not engage in combat. Just before going overseas, White married Russian-born Anne Terry, who later became a successful writer of children’s books. They had two daughters....