Hart, Merwin Kimball, 1881-1962

Alternative names
Birth 1881-06-25
Death 1962-11-30

Biographical notes:

Attorney, president of the National Economic Council which actively promoted conservatism in politics and economics, and member of the John Birch Society.

From the description of Papers, 1929-1962. (University of Oregon Libraries). WorldCat record id: 19081894

Merwin K. Hart was born in 1881 in Utica, New York and educated at Harvard University from which he was graduated in 1904. He read law and was admitted to the New York bar in 1911. In 1914, he formed the Utica Mutual Workmen's Compensation Insurance Company, later the Utica Mutual Insurance Company.

After service in World War I, Hart became increasingly concerned about the problems of government spending and taxation. With James W. Gerard, Hart planned and held the New York State-wide Economic Congress in April, 1929 in order to discuss and search for solutions to those problems. The 1929 economic congress appointed the Committee of Twenty-Five that reorganized in 1931 as the New York State Economic Council with Hart as its president. It was dedicated to the twin goals of lowering taxes and reducing government spending. In 1943, the name was changed to the National Economic Council and actively promoted conservativism in politics and economics.

Although Hart and Franklin Roosevelt were Harvard schoolmates and acquaintances, the two were often great distances apart. Hart, in spite of his service on the Governor's Budget Advisory Commission under Roosevelt, worked in opposition to Roosevelt and his programs.

Hart was also a member of Robert Welch's John Birch Society and served as the head of the New York City Branch until his death in 1962.

From the guide to the Merwin K. Hart papers, 1929-1962, (Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries)


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  • Economic councils
  • Communism in education
  • Conservatism--United States
  • Conservatism--Economic aspects
  • Conservatism
  • Political Campaigns


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