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Andrew F. Brimmer

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Information about Andrew F. Brimmer

Profile image of Andrew F. Brimmer

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Economist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Salmon
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Vancouver, British Columbia
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
9/13/1926
Birth Location:
Newellton, Louisiana

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Economist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Salmon
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Vancouver, British Columbia
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
9/13/1926
Birth Location:
Newellton
See how Andrew F. Brimmer is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Economist, academic and business leader Andrew F. Brimmer was born in Newellton, Louisiana, on September 13, 1926. The son of sharecroppers who had been driven off of the land by boll weevils, Brimmer attended local racially segregated elementary and high schools. Upon graduation, Brimmer moved to Bremerton, Washington, with an older sister and worked in a navy yard as an electrician's helper. In 1945, Brimmer was drafted into the Army, where he served until November 1946. After completing his military service, Brimmer enrolled in the University of Washington, where he earned his B.A. degree in economics in 1950. In 1951, after receiving his M.A. degree, Brimmer won a Fulbright grant to study in India. In 1952, Brimmer enrolled in Harvard, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1957.

While working on his doctorate, Brimmer went to work for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as an economist. While working with the Federal Reserve Bank, Brimmer traveled to Khartoum, Sudan, to help the country establish a central bank. During the John F. Kennedy administration, Brimmer became assistant secretary of economic affairs in the U.S. Department of Commerce, and served until 1966. That same year Brimmer began an eight-and-a-half year term on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; while filling this role, he became the first African American governor of the Federal Reserve. In 1974, Brimmer left to take a post at Harvard University, where he stayed for two years. Upon leaving Harvard, Brimmer formed his own consulting company, Brimmer & Co. In 1997, Brimmer returned to his former position as a governor of the Federal Reserve, and in 1999 became vice chairman.

Brimmer was elected to the Washington Academy of Sciences in 1991, largely as a result of his published works on the nature and importance of central banking systems. Brimmer served as vice president of the American Economic Association and president of the Eastern Economics Association; he also served as the president of the North American Economics and Finance Association, in addition to serving on a number of other corporate boards of directors.

Brimmer passed away on October 7, 2012 at age 86.

See how Andrew F. Brimmer is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Andrew Brimmer interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Andrew Brimmer lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Andrew Brimmer tells stories of the 1800s from relatives and an ex-slave neighbor
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Andrew Brimmer talks about his father's work in farming and the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Andrew Brimmer discusses his parents' marriage and his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Andrew Brimmer describes his childhood community of Newellton, Louisiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Andrew Brimmer remembers Saturday nights in his childhood community in Louisiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Andrew Brimmer recalls his family's church activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Andrew Brimmer discusses interracial relationships in 1930s Louisiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Andrew Brimmer recounts his elementary school years
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Andrew Brimmer remembers his school teachers
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Andrew Brimmer describes his small segregated secondary school in rural Louisiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Andrew Brimmer tells about relatives who left Tensas Parish, Louisiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Andrew Brimmer explains how he moved to Washington state for a war job after high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Andrew Brimmer recalls starting college in Washington state
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Andrew Brimmer remembers his Army training in 1945
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Andrew Brimmer recounts his Army service in Hawaii in 1945-1946
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Andrew Brimmer recalls studying economics at University of Washington
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Andrew Brimmer recalls his Economic Cooperation Administration internship in 1950
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Andrew Brimmer discusses his application for a Fulbright Grant to study in India
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Andrew Brimmer remembers his study in India in 1951-52
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Andrew Brimmer recalls his meeting and work with economist Wassily Leontief
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Andrew Brimmer remembers his first meeting with John Kenneth Galbraith
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Andrew Brimmer discusses his paper on industrial financing in India, 1952
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Andrew Brimmer recounts working for the Federal Reserve Bank while finishing his dissertation
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Andrew Brimmer shares observations of Sudan's transition from colonialism in 1956-57
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Andrew Brimmer recalls his work in the Sudan
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Andrew Brimmer explains his career path to Washington, DC
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Andrew Brimmer remembers his appointment as Assistant Secretary of Economic Affairs under Lyndon Johnson
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Andrew Brimmer details his investigation of discrimination in public accomodations for the Commerce Department
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Andrew Brimmer describes his Commerce Department work and Lyndon Johnson's temper
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Andrew Brimmer details his appointment to the Federal Reserve Board by President Johnson
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Andrew Brimmer recalls Johnson's appointing him and other blacks to high-level positions
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Andrew Brimmer remembers his stint as a Harvard professor and starting his company
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Andrew Brimmer recounts his appointment to the Washington D.C. Financial Control Board
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Andrew Brimmer recalls the Control Board's changes to the District of Columbia
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Andrew Brimmer discusses his consulting work
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Andrew Brimmer shares his hopes and concerns for the black community
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Andrew Brimmer considers his legacy