Philleo Nash, son of a Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, cranberry farmer, studied music at the Curtis Institute of Music and anthropology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and the University of Chicago. After receiving his doctorate in 1937, Nash joined the faculty of the University of Toronto, where he remained until 1941 when he returned home to help his family manage the cranberry business. World War II brought Nash to Washington where he served as special assistant to the director of the Office of War Information. In 1946, President Truman appointed Nash special assistant for minority affairs and, in that capacity, he contributed to the report of the Committee on Fair Employment Practices that ended racial discrimination in the armed forces and in government hiring practices. A target of Joseph McCarthy's anti-communist crusade, Nash, with Truman's support, successfully fought the "contemptible lie" of which he was accused.
Although Nash returned to manage the family business in 1953, he remained active in Democratic politics, serving as Wisconsin's lieutenant governor from 1958 to 1960 and as a U.S. Commissioner of Indian Affairs from 1961 to 1966. In 1969, Nash joined the anthropology faculty of the American University in Washington, D.C. He retired in 1977 and returned to Wisconsin Rapids, where he spent the last ten years of his life managing his family's cranberry business.
Source: American National Biography Online. Internet on-line. Available From http://www.anb.org.
Recommended citation: Eleanor Roosevelt, John Kennedy, and the Election of 1960: A Project of The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, ed. by Allida Black, June Hopkins, John Sears, Christopher Alhambra, Mary Jo Binker, Christopher Brick, John S. Emrich, Eugenia Gusev, Kristen E. Gwinn, and Bryan D. Peery (Columbia, S.C.: Model Editions Partnership, 2003). Electronic version based on unpublished letters. http://adh.sc.edu.
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