Lawyer/Government Official. After beginning his career as a Duke University law professor, Dean joined the New Deal in 1934, serving in the U.S. Department of Justice. Under Attorney General Homer S. Cummings and, to a lesser extent, his successor Frank Murphy, Dean was an important Criminal Division attorney and public spokesman. Dean helped to draft numerous provisions that became parts of the expanded federal criminal law and then, before the Supreme Court, he argued and won cases establishing that these new statutes were constitutional. Under Attorney General Robert H. Jackson (1940-41), Dean was one of the Department’s top officials and its press spokesman. After a period out of government and in military service, Dean in 1945-46 reprised his role as one of Jackson’s closest advisers and his press spokesman when Jackson (by then a Supreme Court Justice) served as chief American prosecutor of the Nazi war criminals in Nuremberg, Germany. In 1949, President Truman appointed Dean to the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). Truman elevated Dean to AEC chairman in 1950, a position he held until 1953. Dean then worked in New York as an investment banker and businessman. He was a senior executive at General Dynamics (and he probably was destined to be appointed to a key Cabinet position in the event that a Democrat got elected president in 1960) when he was killed in a commercial airplane crash on Nantucket Island in August 1958.
Bio by: John Q. Barrett
Bruce Fisken Dean