Martin, William McChesney, Jr.

Martin, William McChesney, Jr.,

1906–98, U.S. banker, chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (1951–70), b. St. Louis. After an early career as a stockbroker, Martin became (1938) the first salaried president of the New York Stock Exchange. He served in World War II and then held high-level positions in the Export-Import Bank, the U.S. Treasury Dept., and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. President Harry Truman appointed him chairman of the Federal Reserve Board in 1951, and he held the position under six successive administrations until his retirement. Favoring a "hard money" policy, Martin fought to keep the Federal Reserve SystemFederal Reserve System,
central banking system of the United States. Established in 1913, it began to operate in Nov., 1914. Its setup, although somewhat altered since its establishment, particularly by the Banking Act of 1935, has remained substantially the same.
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 independent of political control, and he opposed excessive expansion of the monetary supply, which he considered a major cause of inflation. He is considered the creator of the modern, independently operating Federal Reserve. He reentered private business after 1970.

Martin, William McChesney, Jr.

(1906–  ) stockbroker, government official; born in St. Louis, Mo. The son of a banker who helped draft the Federal Reserve Act during the Wilson Administration, he graduated from Yale in 1928, worked in a St. Louis brokerage, and returned east in 1931 to take a seat on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). In 1938 he became the exchange's first salaried president. He joined the government as an assistant treasury secretary before becoming chairman of the Federal Reserve Board in 1951. Associated with conservative monetary policies during his long tenure on the board, he served on a committee to reorganize the NYSE, and sat on several corporate boards after his retirement from government service in 1970.