William Walter Husband

Commissioner-General of Immigration, March 15, 1921 to May 15, 1925

Born September 29, 1871, in East Highgate, Vermont, Husband worked as a store clerk and Postmaster before finding his first career as a journalist. He came to Washington, D.C., in 1903 as secretary to Senator William P. Dillingham. Dillingham was a member of the Senate immigration committee, and appointed Husband as committee clerk. Four years later, he became the executive secretary of the U.S. Immigration Commission (aka "Dillingham Commission") which in 1911 issued a forty-two volume report on immigrants in the United States and the causes of emigration abroad. In 1912, he moved to the Department of Commerce and Labor where he served as Chief of the Contract Labor Division. Husband later traveled to Europe to study emigration for the Department of Commerce and Labor, and after his return edited his own publication, the Immigration Journal. Following World War I, Husband returned to Europe where he worked with the Red Cross and later the Inter-Allied Repatriation Commission. In 1921, President Harding appointed Husband Commissioner-General of Immigration. He served in that post until 1924, when named the American delegate to the International Conference on Immigration and Emigration in Rome. Husband continued as an Assistant Secretary of Labor until retirement in 1935. Long considered one of the nation's leading experts on immigration, Husband died in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, on July 31, 1942.

National Cyclopaedia of American Biography

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