Skip to main content Skip to Search Box

Definition: Hopkins, Harry L(loyd) from Chambers Biographical Dictionary


US administrator

Born in Sioux City, Iowa, he was Federal emergency relief administrator in the Depression of 1933, and under President Franklin D Roosevelt headed the "New Deal" projects in the Works Progress Administration (1935-38). He became Secretary of Commerce (1938-40), and was supervisor of the Lend-Lease programme in 1941. As Roosevelt's closest confidant and special assistant, he undertook several important missions to Russia, Great Britain and other countries during World War II, and helped to set up the Potsdam Conference (1945).

Summary Article: Hopkins, Harry Lloyd
From The Columbia Encyclopedia

1890–1946, American public official, b. Sioux City, Iowa. A social worker, he was appointed (1931) head of New York's Temporary Emergency Relief Administration by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, then governor of New York. Two years later, after Roosevelt became President, Hopkins was made chief of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) and of the Civil Works Administration, which grew out of the FERA. In 1935 he became head of the Works Progress Administration. Hopkins was made secretary of commerce in Dec., 1938, but resigned in Aug., 1940, because of ill health.

An intimate friend of President Roosevelt, Hopkins was a special assistant to the President during World War II. He administered the lend-lease program in 1941 and went on several missions to London and Moscow. After Roosevelt's death, he went as President Truman's representative to Moscow to settle problems that had arisen over Poland and the organization of the United Nations. In July, 1945, he retired from public life.

  • See biography by D. L. Roll (2013).
The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2018

Related Articles

Full text Article Hopkins, Harry
American Biographies: American Political Leaders

(b. 1890–d. 1946) White House advisor, New Deal policymaker, diplomat Harry Lloyd Hopkins was the key figure in Franklin D. Roosevelt's depression r

See more from Credo