Flemming, Arthur S. (Arthur Sherwood), 1905-1996

Alternative names
Birth 1905-06-12
Death 1996-09-07

Biographical notes:

Arthur S. Flemming (1905-1996), a Methodist ecumenical leader, is the son of Harriet Sherwood and Harry H. Flemming. He attended Ohio Wesleyan University, from which he received an A.B. in 1927. Following his graduation he joined the staff at American University as an instructor in government while completing his masters degree, which he received in 1928. In 1930 he became an editorial writer for U.S. News and World Report. Meanwhile, he attended George Washington University, which awarded him an LL.B. degree in 1932. That same year he assumed additional duties as the editor for Uncle Sam's Diary, a high school current events weekly. In 1934 he married Bernice Virginia Moler. In 1939 Fleming became a member of the U.S. Civil Service Commission. He retained that position until 1948 when he became president of Ohio Wesleyan University. For many years an active layman in the Methodist Church, Fleming was chosen vice-president of the newly created National Council of Churches in 1950. He remained at Wesleyan until 1953 when he was called by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to serve as director of the Office of Defense Mobilization and a member of the National Security Council. In 1957, when Fleming left office to return to Ohio Wesleyan, Eisenhower awarded him the Medal of Freedom. A year later he returned to Washington as Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare for the remainder of Eisenhower's administration. In 1961 Fleming became the president of Oregon University. While there, his leadership in the ecumenical movement blossomed. In 1964 he became president of the Oregon Council of Churches and again became the vice-president of the National Council of Churches. Two years later he began a four-year tenure as president of the Council, one of the few laymen to hold that position. In 1969 he left Oregon and moved to Minnesota as president of Macalester College. He retired from Macalester in 1971, but remained active as a participant in various capacities, especially in the areas of aging and civil rights. He served as chairman of the Commission on Civil Rights from 1975 to 1982.

From the description of Flemming, Arthur S. (Arthur Sherwood), 1905-1996 (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10572864

Lawyer, government official; interviewee b. 1905.

From the description of Reminiscences of Arthur S. Flemming : oral history, 1964. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122565305


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