OBITUARY: Milton Katz
Wednesday 16 August 1995
A brilliant legal scholar, Katz began as a lecturer at the Harvard Law School in 1939 and returned there after his government service. After retiring from Harvard at 70, Katz taught at a local law school in Boston, Suffolk University, until this January, when he was 86.
Born in New York City, Katz graduated from Harvard College in 1927 and from Harvard Law School in 1931. In 1933 he went to work for the New Deal's National Recovery Administration, the intensely controversial (and unsuccessful) programme of industrial "codes" which was the Roosevelt Administration's experiment in turning the United States into a planned economy.
He returned to Harvard, then, after Pearl Harbor, to Washington to work for the War Production Board and then the Combined Production and Resources Board. He served as a lieutenant-commander in the US Navy, and, after the war, at the Ford Foundation in New York. In 1948 the United States launched the Marshall Plan, which Winston Churchill called "the most generous act in history". Eventually some $12bn in Marshall Aid was given to stave off hunger and destitution and to prime the pumps of Europe's reviving industries.
In was characteristic of Katz, with his strong sense of public service, to volunteer to work for the Economic Recovery Administration, as this disinterested enterprise was called; and typical of his self-effacing diplomatic skills that he found himself smoothing relations between some of the prickliest egos in two continents, including those of his proconsul in Paris, Averell Harriman, and Richard Bissell, his opposite number in Washington,.
Katz started as Harriman's deputy in Paris. Harriman, fresh from his role as President Roosevelt's ambassador to Moscow, saw it as his role to assert Europe's interests, but at the same time to take a tough line with any European behaviour that might jeopardise the success of the Plan.
In 1950 Harriman's job devolved on Katz. He found himself with what could have been a dangerous crisis for the embryonic European community on his hands. The crisis arose over an institution called the European Payments Union. Katz was one of several top American officials who were deeply suspicious of Germany's economic policies, which he went so far as to call "Schachtian", thereby comparing them with those of the Hitler regime.
Milton Katz later served as chairman of Nato's financial and economic committee and as a member of the UN's Economic Commission for Europe before returning to Harvard.
Milton Katz, economist, public servant: born 29 November 1907; Lecturer on Law, Harvard University 1939-40, Professor of Law 1940-50, Henry L. Stimson Professor of Law 1954-78 (Emeritus); Distinguished Professor of Law, Suffolk University 1978-95; married 1933 Vivian Greenberg (three sons); died Brookline, Massachusetts 9 August 1995.
- 1 David Sedaris: What I learnt from Fitbit about the world around me
- 2 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Cee Lo Green: 'It's only rape if the victim is conscious'
- 5 Katie Hopkins in tears over weight gain challenge: ‘I hate fat people for making me do this’
Emma Watson on Jennifer Lawrence nude photo leak: 'Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated is reading the comments'
Jessica Brown Findlay: Downton Abbey actress is linked to list of celebrities targeted by hackers
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
Ariana Grande nude photos leak: Pictures are completely fake, say representatives
Steven Sotloff 'beheading': British captive shown in Isis video which claims to show death of second US journalist
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...
Up to £40,000: Ashdown Group: Standalone HR Manager role for an SME business b...
£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...