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 Marion Bayard Folsom

Marion Bayard Folsom

Birth
McRae, Telfair County, Georgia, USA
Death 27 Sep 1976 (aged 82)
Rochester, Monroe County, New York, USA
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot section 11 Lot 68-2 Map Grid M/N 13.5
Memorial ID 9153 · View Source
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U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, 1955-1958, Business Executive. He was raised in rural Southeast Georgia as the son of William Bryant Folsom and Margaret Jane McRae; his mother was a descendant of the first settlers of McRae, Georgia. He attended the University of Georgia graduating with honors in 1912, and he received a master's degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in 1914. Before he graduated from Harvard, Eastman Kodak Company approached him for a position that he accepted. During World War I, he took a leave of absence from this position to serve as a U.S. Army Captain in France. Upon returning, he helped design one of the nation’s first company-sponsored retirement insurance plans for Eastman Kodak Company. He married Mary Davenport on November 16, 1918; they had three children. He was a Republican and a Presbyterian. With the help of Folsom, Eastman Kodak weathered the blows of the depression better than most corporations, and this became well-known in the business community. Appointed by President Franklin Roosevelt to the Advisory Council on Economic Security in 1934, he helped develop the Social Security Act of 1935. While Folsom did not directly author the Social Security Act, he was very influential in its development and adoption by the Congress. He served from 1935 to 1953 as a Treasurer of the Eastman Kodak Company, who office was located in Rochester, New York. During this time span, he commuted to Washington D.C. to serve the United States as staff director of the U. S. House Special Committee on Postwar Economic Policy and Planning from 1944 to 1946 and Vice Chairman of the President’s Advisory Committee on the Merchant Marine from 1947 to 1948. He resigned from Kodak in 1953 to become Under Secretary of the Treasury, where he oversaw the first complete federal tax law revision since 1874. President Eisenhower appointed him Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, serving from 1955 to 1958. In his later years in Rochester, he was active in various community projects including educational and medical projects including supporting nursing schools, patient care problems, and expanding opportunities for medical students. His life story has been documented in four books: “From Welfare Capitalism to the Welfare State: the Career of Marion B. Folsom” by Sanford M Jacoby; “Reminiscences of Marion Bayard Folsom: Oral History 1965” by Marion B. Folsom and Peter Corning; “Mr. Folsom’s Colossal Error” by Ralph Gwinn; “The Social Security Administration” by Marion B. Folsom. The University of Rochester has archived films and his personal papers at the River Campus Library. In 2012 a State of Georgia Historical marker was place in McRae, Georgia honoring this hometown’s son.

Bio by: Linda Davis


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 17 Apr 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9153
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Marion Bayard Folsom (23 Nov 1893–27 Sep 1976), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9153, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .