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Raymond F. Crist

Commissioner of Naturalization, January 1, 1923 - August 9, 1933

Born August 7, 1871, in El Paso, Illinois, Crist came to Washington D.C. as a student. After earning degrees from George Washington University and Howard University, he took a law degree in 1917 from the Washington College of Law. While a student, Crist worked as a messenger boy and clerk at the U.S. Government Printing Office between 1884 and 1895. His career with the Department of Commerce and Labor commenced as a cashier in 1903. He spent the next year as private secretary to the Secretary of Commerce and Labor, and the next as a commercial agent to Japan, China, and Africa.

With the organization of the U.S. Naturalization Service within the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization in 1906, Crist became Assistant Chief of the new Naturalization Division. When the two bureaus split in 1913, Crist's position became Deputy Commissioner of Naturalization, where he remained until 1919. Crist then worked as Bureau’s Director of Citizenship until named Commissioner of Naturalization in 1923. The second and last Commissioner of Naturalization, Crist resigned in 1933 when the Bureau was abolished and consolidated with Bureau of Immigration to form the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).

Following retirement, Crist maintained a private law practice. During World War II he served as the Chief of Employee Relations for the War Production Board. Crist died at his Washington, D.C. home on August 5, 1944.

Source: Who was Who in America, Vol. 2 (1943-1950).

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