Isador Lubin

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The biographical information for Isador Lubin was found on the FDR Library & Museum website1.  It was not formatted for easy reading so the entire bio was copied here and formatted for reading.  Highlights added.


ISADOR LUBIN, 1896-1978

Isador Lubin was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, June 9, 1896, the son of Harris and Hinda Francke Lubin. Lubin grew up in Worcester, where his father owned a clothing store, attending local public schools and Clark University where he majored in economics receiving his B.A. in 1916. He was a graduate student at the University of Missouri, 1916-1918, where he worked under Thorstein Veblen. Lubin became an instructor at Missouri in 1917.

In 1918 Lubin interrupted his academic career to become a statistician with the U.S. Food Administration. While he was with the Food Administration he made a survey with Veblen of farm production in the midwest. In June 1918 Lubin was appointed a Special Expert with the U.S. War Industries Board.

In September 1919 he left government for a year of study at the University of Michigan where he became an assistant professor of economics, 1920-1922. In 1922 Lubin became a member of the staff of the Institute of Economics and a member of the teaching staff of the Robert Brookings Graduate School of Economics and Government where he received his Ph.D. in 1926. These institutions amalgamated in 1928 to become the Brookings Institution. Lubin's association with Brookings continued until 1933.

He was an associate professor of economics at the University of Missouri in 1924. He was an economic adviser to the U.S. Senate Committee on Education and Labor, 1928-1929, and the Senate Committee on Manufactures, 1932. In 1929 Lubin spent about eight months abroad studying government control of the radio industry. He visited Britain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Finland, Palestine and the Soviet Union.

Lubin was appointed U.S. Commissioner of Labor Statistics in 1933. He held this post until 1946, although he was on leave of absence, 1941-1945. Concurrently he held a number of other positions. He was Secretary, International Association of Government Labor Officials, 1933-1946; Chairman, Labor Advisory Board of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, 1933-1935; Vice-chairman, U.S. Central Statistical Board, 1933-1935; member, Advisory Committee to the Federal Coordinator of Railroads, 1933-1936; member, Technical Board of the President's Economic Security Committee, 1934-1935; U.S. Representative on the governing body of the International Labor Organization, 1935, 1937, 1941, 1945; member, Cabinet Subcommittee on the Economic Status of the Cotton Textile Industry, 1935; member, Industrial Resources Committee of the National Resources Board, 1937-1943; member, Temporary National Economic Committee, 1938-1941; member, Executive Committee on Commercial Policy, 1940-1942; Deputy Director, Labor Division of the Office of Production Management, 1940-1941.

In 1941 Lubin went to the west coast to formulate an agreement between west coast shipbuilders and unions to prevent strikes. In 1941 he became Special Statistical Assistant to the President with an office in the White House where he assembled and interpreted statistics on American and British production, In 1942 he became Director, Statistical Analysis Branch, Munitions Assignments Board, Combined Chiefs of Staff. In December 1942 President Roosevelt sent Lubin to London to confer with Lord Cherwell and work out an agreement with the British relative to nomenclature and classifications for the statistical data that he and Cherwell were exchanging.

The President sent Lubin to Europe in January 1945 to study economic conditions. While there he visited the small part of Germany then occupied by American forces and reported his observations on conditions there to General Walter Bedell Smith and General Eisenhower. In March 1945 Lubin was appointed U.S. Representative on the Allied Reparations Commission. As such he went to Moscow in June 1945. President Truman asked Lubin to go to Japan as a member of the Reparations Commission but he declined for reasons of health.

In January 1946 Lubin resigned his government posts. He returned to private life to become President and Chairman of the Board of Confidential Reports, Inc. a theatre auditing organization owned by Universal, Warner Brothers, Columbia Pictures, United Artists, RKO, Selznick Studios, Republic, Eagle Lion and 20th Century Fox. He also became a member of the board of directors of Decca Records. He headed Confidential Reports from 1946-1951.

Lubin's absence from government was brief. He served as an economic advisor to the Department of Commerce, 1946-1947; consultant, Office of Statistical Standards of the Bureau of the Budget, 1946-1954; U.S. Representative, Commission on Devastated Areas, 1946; U.S. Representative, U.N. Economic and Employment Commission, 1946-1950; Economic Adviser to the U.S. Delegation to the U.N. General Assembly, 1950-1951; member, Advisory Committee, Korean Relief and Reconstruction Agency, 1951-1953; Alternate U.S. Delegate, 7th Session, U.N. General Assembly, 1952; U.S. Representative (with rank of Minister) on the U.N. Economic and Social Council, 1950-1953.

Lubin next entered government service when Governor Averell Harriman appointed him New York State Industrial Commissioner. He served in this post from 1955 to 1958. As Industrial Commissioner he was not only administrative head of New York State's Department of Labor but also ex-officio member of the State Youth Commission, State Veterans Affairs Commission, State Civil Defense Commission and the Interdepartmental Health Committee. He was also Chairman, New York State Committee on Refugees and a trustee of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University.

Dr. Lubin had been a trustee of Brandeis University and a director of the New School for Social Research since the 1940's. He was Arthur T. Vanderbilt Professor of Public Affairs at Rutgers University, 1959-1961. He was a member of the American Economic Association and the American Statistical Association serving as Vice President of the latter association in 1937 and President in 1946. He was a Fellow of the International Institute of Statistics. He was a member of the American Arbitration Association, Chairman of the Board of National Child Research Center, 1930-1935; an economic consultant to the Twentieth Century Fund, 1960-1976; a member of the National Commission in Money and Credit, 1959-1963; a member of the Council of Foreign Relations, 1949-1978; a member of the Board of the United World Federalists; a director of the Eastern Life Insurance Company, 1960-1972; a member of the National Planning Association; Chairman of the Amalgamated Shirt Industry Pension Fund and Chairman of the President's Railroad and Marine Workers Commission, 1963.

He was a trustee of the Weizmann Institute of Science, a member of the Executive Committee of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Chairman of the Committee on Overseas Programs of United HIAS Service, a member of the Board of Governors of the American Jewish Committee and a consultant to the PEC Israel Economic Corporation and the United Jewish Appeal on Programs in Palestine. Dr. Lubin was married three times. In 1932 he married Ann Shumaker editor of PROGRESSIVE EDUCATION and co-author of the book, THE CHILD CENTERED SCHOOL (1928). His widow, Carol Reigelman Lubin, whom he married in 1952, had been associated with the International Labor Organization. Isador Lubin died in July 6, 1978, at Annapolis, Maryland. He had maintained a summer home near Annapolis for many years.



Additional Reading: 

Lubin, 1950 Appointment to the UN Economic and Social Council

Truman Library - Isador Lubin, 1974 Oral History Interview

Perkins - Jewish immigrants


1 FDR Library Online, Collections,+Isador