Keyserling, Leon H.

(1908-1987)
   A key figure in shaping housing policy in the 1930s, Leon Keyserling was born in South Carolina. He graduated from Columbia University in 1928 and obtained his law degree from Harvard in 1931. He briefly taught economics at Columbia University before joining the legal staff of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA) in 1933. However, he left the AAA and became secretary and assistant to Senator Robert F. Wagner until 1937. Through Wagner, Keyserling had considerable input into the drafting of aspects of the National Industrial Recovery Act, National Housing Acts, and National Labor Relations Act. Keyserling became counsel to the U.S. Housing Authority and then the Federal Public Housing Authority between 1937 and 1946. He also contributed to the writing of the Democratic Party’s platform in 1936, 1940, and 1944 and helped draft the Employment Act (1946) and Housing Act (1949). In 1946, he became a member and vice chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, and he was chair from 1950 until 1953, when he left public service. He founded the Conference on Economic Progress in 1953 and was its director until 1972.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

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