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Harold D. Smith

In office
April 15, 1939 – June 19, 1946
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded by Daniel W. Bell
Succeeded by James E. Webb

Born June 6, 1898(1898-06-06)
Haven, Kansas
Died January 23, 1947 (aged 48)
Culpepper, Virginia
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Lilian Mayer (1926-1947)
Alma mater University of Kansas, B.S.
University of Michigan, A.M.

Harold Dewey Smith (June 6, 1898 - January 23, 1947) was an American civil servant who served as director of the United States Bureau of the Budget (now the Office of Management and Budget) during the Second World War.

Born in Haven, Kansas, Smith was the son of James William Smith and his wife, Miranda, née Ebling. After serving in the United States Navy during the First World War, Smith attended the University of Kansas, where he earned a degree in engineering, and the University of Michigan, where he received an A.M. in public administration. Upon graduating from the University of Michigan, Smith returned to Kansas, where he worked for the League of Kansas Municipalities for three years. In 1928, Smith moved back to Michigan to serve as director of the Michigan Municipal League. From 1934 until 1937, he was also Director of Government at the University of Michigan.

In 1937, Smith left both the Michigan Municipal League and the University of Michigan to become the Budget Director for the state of Michigan. In 1939, he was selected by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to serve as the Director of the Bureau of the Budget. Smith served in that position for seven years, during which time he handled the enormous expansion of spending resulting from American participation in the Second World War. He resigned from the position in June 1946 to become the vice president of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development,[1] but died shortly thereafter in Culpeper, Virginia.


  • The Management of Your Government (1945)


  1. ^|Letter Accepting Resignation of Harold D. Smith as Director of the Bureau of the Budget

Further reading

Paul H. Appleby, "Harold D. Smith-Public Administrator" American Society for Public Administration

Listing for the Harold D. Smith Papers at the Truman Library

Political offices
Preceded by
Daniel W. Bell
Director of the Bureau of the Budget
Succeeded by
James E. Webb
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Arthur Harris
Cover of Time Magazine
14 June 1943
Succeeded by
Benito Mussolini


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