Moley, Raymond

Moley, Raymond
   Raymond Moley was born in Ohio, and after graduating from Baldwin-Wallace College in 1906, he became superintendent of schools in Olmstead Falls, Ohio. After gaining a master’s degree from Oberlin College in 1913, Moley taught at Western Reserve University from 1916 to 1919. He was awarded a Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1918, and he taught government there beginning in 1923 and then public law from 1928 to 1954. He wrote a number of books, including Lessons in American Citizenship (1917), The State Movement for Efficiency and Economy (1918), and Parties, Politics, and People (1921). His work as research director of the New York State Crime Commission in 1926 and 1927 and for the New York State Commission on the Administration of Justice from 1931 to 1933 brought him to the attention of Samuel I. Rosenman, who asked him to form the group of advisers in 1932 that became known as the “Brain Trust” in President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. Moley was made assistant secretary of state in 1933. Moley made a significant contribution to the New Deal as a presidential speechwriter, shaping early legislation, bringing talented individuals into the administration, and acting as a publicist for the New Deal through his role as editor of the magazine Today. However, Moley’s relationship with the president deteriorated after Roosevelt undermined the commitments he made at the London Economic Conference on currency stabilization. Furthermore, he disagreed with the Wealth Tax Act of 1935 and the apparent shift to the left in the “Second New Deal.” Critical of the attempt at “court packing” in 1937, Moley joined the Republican Party and campaigned on behalf of Wendell Willkie in 1940. He then returned to Columbia University and wrote several more books on government and politics.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

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