Lilienthal, David

Lilienthal, David (Eli)

(1899–1981) lawyer, government official; born in Morton, Ill. A Chicago lawyer, he rewrote Wisconsin's public utility statutes (1931–33). As the most visible and active official of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) (board member from 1933, chairman 1941–46), he enlisted local support for centralized regional planning, fought to keep the TVA free of political ties, and tried to combine sound conservation policies with the TVA's primary goals of flood control and cheap electricity. Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (1946–55), he founded and headed the Development and Resources Corporation (1953–79), providing technical assistance to underdeveloped countries.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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