- Jones, Jesse Holman
- (1874-1956)Jesse Jones was a successful Texas businessman who contributed to the development of Houston as a center of commerce and banking. In 1917, he was appointed director general of military relief for the Red Cross. Jones was a Democratic Party activist, and he accompanied Woodrow Wilson to the Versailles Peace Conference in 1918. In 1924, he acted as finance chairman for the Democratic presidential campaign. In 1932, Herbert Hoover appointed Jones to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC). Franklin D. Roosevelt made him chairman of the RFC in 1933, a position he held until 1939 when he became federal loan administrator. In 1940, he became secretary of commerce and was able to continue his role as federal loan administrator following a special act of Congress. Jones was involved in a great deal of the war-planning after 1941, and at one point was head of 12 agencies, including the Department of Commerce, RFC, and Rubber Reserve Company. Jones had a long-running difference with Henry A. Wallace, and when Roosevelt asked him to step aside as secretary of commerce in favor of Wallace and to accommodate Harry S. Truman as vice president, he resigned all his political offices in 1945. He opposed Truman’s election in 1948 and supported Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952. Jones retired to Houston where he worked with a charitable organization, the Houston Endowment.
Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . Neil A. Wynn . 2015.