Eastman, Joseph Bartlett

Eastman, Joseph Bartlett,

1882–1944, U.S. government administrator, b. Katonah, N.Y. President Wilson appointed him in 1919 to the Interstate Commerce Commission. As federal coordinator of railroads (1933–36), director of the Office of Defense Transportation (1941–44), and a member of the War Production Board, Eastman showed great ability at mobilizing transportation for the good of the nation. At first an advocate of government ownership of railroads, he later modified his views.


See his Selected Papers and Addresses, ed. by G. L. Wilson (1948).

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Eastman, Joseph Bartlett

(1882–1944) social reformer, public official; born in Katonah, N.Y. The "watchdog" secretary of Boston's Public Franchise League (1905–15), he investigated municipal utilities. An independent member and twice chairman of the U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission (1917–44), he earned respect for his fairmindedness, but often lost his fights to regulate railroad rates. He coordinated rail traffic as director of Defense Transportation (1941–44).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.