Leon Keyserling

Leon Keyserling

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Leon Hirsch Keyserling was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 economist and lawyer. During his career he helped draft major pieces of New Deal
New Deal
The New Deal was a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They were passed by the U.S. Congress during the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call...

 legislation and advised President Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

 as head of the Council of Economic Advisers
Council of Economic Advisers
The Council of Economic Advisers is an agency within the Executive Office of the President that advises the President of the United States on economic policy...

.

Early life


Keyserling was born in 1908 in Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is the second largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina. It was made the county seat of Charleston County in 1901 when Charleston County was founded. The city's original name was Charles Towne in 1670, and it moved to its present location from a location on the west bank of the...

. He earned an A.B. from Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

 in 1928, his law degree from Harvard Law School
Harvard Law School
Harvard Law School is one of the professional graduate schools of Harvard University. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it is the oldest continually-operating law school in the United States and is home to the largest academic law library in the world. The school is routinely ranked by the U.S...

 in 1931, and returned to Columbia as a graduate student in the Department of Economics from 1931 to 1933, where he also taught for a short time. While there Keyserling studied under Rexford Tugwell
Rexford Tugwell
Rexford Guy Tugwell was an agricultural economist who became part of Franklin D. Roosevelt's first "Brain Trust," a group of Columbia academics who helped develop policy recommendations leading up to Roosevelt's 1932 election as President...

, but never finished his dissertation.

Keyserling married Mary Dublin Keyserling, also an economist.

Government career


In 1933 Keyserling became an attorney for the newly constituted Agricultural Adjustment Administration
Agricultural Adjustment Act
The Agricultural Adjustment Act was a United States federal law of the New Deal era which restricted agricultural production by paying farmers subsidies not to plant part of their land and to kill off excess livestock...

, a New Deal
New Deal
The New Deal was a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They were passed by the U.S. Congress during the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call...

 agency that distributed subsidies to reduce crop area. From 1933 to 1946 he was a consultant economist to the Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 on a variety of social, economic, industrial, and financial issues, during which time he also served as a legislative assistant
Legislative assistant
A legislative assistant is a legislative staffer who works for a legislator by monitoring pending legislation, conducting research, drafting legislation, giving advice and counsel, and making recommendations....

 to Democratic New York Senator Robert F. Wagner
Robert F. Wagner
Robert Ferdinand Wagner I was an American politician. He was a Democratic U.S. Senator from New York from 1927 to 1949.-Origin and early life:...

 (1933-37) and several positions, including general counsel, to the US Housing Authority, Federal Public Housing Authority, and National Housing Agency (1937-46). It was during his time with Wagner that Keyserling participating in drafting various New Deal initiatives, including the National Industrial Recovery Act
National Industrial Recovery Act
The National Industrial Recovery Act , officially known as the Act of June 16, 1933 The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), officially known as the Act of June 16, 1933 The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), officially known as the Act of June 16, 1933 (Ch. 90, 48 Stat. 195, formerly...

, the Social Security Act, and the National Labor Relations Act
National Labor Relations Act
The National Labor Relations Act or Wagner Act , is a 1935 United States federal law that limits the means with which employers may react to workers in the private sector who create labor unions , engage in collective bargaining, and take part in strikes and other forms of concerted activity in...

.

In 1946 Keyserling became a member of the Vice Chairman of the newly created Council of Economic Advisers
Council of Economic Advisers
The Council of Economic Advisers is an agency within the Executive Office of the President that advises the President of the United States on economic policy...

, later becoming the Acting Chairman in 1949 and the Chairman in 1950; he left as Chairman in 1953.

Later life


Following his time advising President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

, Keyserling consulted with Congress on a variety of economic issues and also practiced law. In 1954 he founded the Conference on Economic Progress (CEP), serving as its president of until 1987. His wife had left the Department of Commerce
United States Department of Commerce
The United States Department of Commerce is the Cabinet department of the United States government concerned with promoting economic growth. It was originally created as the United States Department of Commerce and Labor on February 14, 1903...

 in 1953 and joined him in consulting as well as the founding of the CEP, where she served as associate director from its inception to 1963.

In 1969 Keyserling served as president of the National Committee for Labor Israel, a US organization that worked with the Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i Histadrut
Histadrut
HaHistadrut HaKlalit shel HaOvdim B'Eretz Yisrael , known as the Histadrut, is Israel's organization of trade unions. Established in December 1920 during the British Mandate for Palestine, it became one of the most powerful institutions of the State of Israel.-History:The Histadrut was founded in...

.

He died on August 9, 1987, at Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

's George Washington University Hospital
George Washington University Hospital
The George Washington University Hospital is a hospital in Washington, D.C. in the United States. It opened on On August 23, 2002, with 371 beds in a 400,000 sq. ft. building, housing than $45 million of medical equipment and cost more than $96 million to construct...

.

Writings

  • Redirecting Education (with Rexford Tugwell
    Rexford Tugwell
    Rexford Guy Tugwell was an agricultural economist who became part of Franklin D. Roosevelt's first "Brain Trust," a group of Columbia academics who helped develop policy recommendations leading up to Roosevelt's 1932 election as President...

    ) (1934)
  • Toward Full Employment and Full Production (1954)
  • Consumption-Key to Full Prosperity (1957)
  • The Federal Budget and the General Welfare (1959)
  • The Peace by Investment Corporation (with Benjamin Javitts) (1962)
  • Taxes and the Public Interest (1963)
  • Progress or Poverty (1964)
  • The Move Toward Railroad Mergers (1965)
  • A Freedom Budget for All Americans (1966)
  • The Scarcity School of Economics (1973)
  • Liberal and Conservative National Economic Policies and Their Consequences, 1919-79 (1979)
  • The Current Significance of the New Deal (1984)

External links