Zimmerman, William, 1890-1967

Alternative names

Hide Profile

Born in Chicago, Ill. In 1933 appointed Assistant Commissioner of Indian Affairs, BIA by President Roosevelt. In 1950 transferred to the Bureau of Land Management. After retiring served as the head of the Washington branch of the Association on American Indian Affairs, also involved with the Sierra Club and the Wilderness Society.

From the description of Papers, 1933-1976. (University of New Mexico-Main Campus). WorldCat record id: 32512381

From the guide to the William Zimmerman Photograph Collection, 1934-1960, (University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research)

William Zimmerman at Rosebud Reservation, South Dakota, 1955. Part of the William Zimmerman, Jr. Pictorial Collection, PICT 000-517-0001-0008 SC (Box 6, Folder 1).

William Zimmerman Jr. was born in Chicago, Illinois, on September 2, 1890. At the age of twenty, he received an A.B. degree from Harvard University. After graduation, he remained to enroll in the Harvard Business School for another year. As his later achievements indicate, his university studies instilled in him an appreciation for learning.

During his lifetime, Zimmerman held many diversified positions before his tenure with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), including: writer and editor of the Children's Encyclopedia (1911-1917, & 1919), an executive for the Columbia Conserve Company, and a stock and bond salesman with Stone & Webster. However, he is best remembered as the Assistant Commissioner of Indian Affairs, BIA. He was appointed by President Roosevelt in 1933, during the New Deal.

Zimmerman remained in government service for the next 22 years. Not all of those years were spent with the BIA; he was transferred to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in May of 1950.

His many years as the Assistant Commissioner were beneficial to the interests of both the BIA and Native Americans alike. During the period of 1947 to 1950, he was acting Commissioner due to then Commissioner William A. Brophy's illness and later resignation.

Zimmerman was a highly esteemed government servant who exhibited a sincere concern for Native Americans. Consequently, he was a trusted spokesman for Native Americans.

Before his death on September 26, 1967, Zimmerman devoted his post-governmental service time to his position as head of the Washington branch of the highly influential Association on American Indian Affairs. Moreover, in keeping with his concern for natural resource management, he was involved with both the Sierra Club and The Wilderness Society. He remained faithful to the areas to which he had given so much of his time and energy during his life in government office.

From the guide to the William Zimmerman, Jr. Papers, 1933-1965, (University of New Mexico. Center for Southwest Research.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn John Collier papers Yale University Library
referencedIn Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. 1793 - 1999. Testimony Taken at a Conference on the Wheeler-Howard Bill
referencedIn President's Quetico-Superior Committee. President's Quetico-Superior Committee records, 1931-1978. Denver Public Library, Central Library
creatorOf William Zimmerman Photograph Collection, 1934-1960 University of New Mexico. Center for Southwest Research
creatorOf William Zimmerman, Jr. Papers, 1933-1965 University of New Mexico. Center for Southwest Research
creatorOf Zimmerman, William, 1890-1967. Papers, 1933-1976. University of New Mexico-Main Campus
referencedIn Collier, John, 1884-1968. John Collier papers, 1910-1987 (inclusive). Yale University Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Apache Indians person
associatedWith Association on American Indian Affairs. corporateBody
associatedWith Chavez, Dennis person
associatedWith Collier, John, 1884-1968. person
associatedWith Glenn L. Emmons person
associatedWith Harold L. Ickes person
associatedWith Indian Rights Association corporateBody
associatedWith Indians of North America person
associatedWith National Congress of American Indians. corporateBody
correspondedWith Oliver La Farge person
correspondedWith President's Quetico-Superior Committee. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. American Indian Policy Review Commission. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Bureau of Land Management corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Dept. of the Interior. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
New Mexico
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (S.D.)
United States
Fort Hall Indian Reservation (Idaho)
Indians of North America--Medical care
Indians of North America--Cultural assimilation
Architecture--New Mexico
Pueblo Indians--New Mexico
Pueblo Indians
Menominee Indians
Dakota Indians
Sculpture--New Mexico
Indians of North America--Government relations--1934-
Navajo Indians
Indians of North America--Education
Indian reservations
Indian reservations--United States


Birth 1890

Death 1967



Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w66691rf

Ark ID: w66691rf

SNAC ID: 60727513