Lewis Williams Douglas

Lewis Williams Douglas

Lewis Williams Douglas (July 2, 1894March 7, 1974) was an American politician, diplomat, businessman and academic.


Born in Bisbee, Cochise County, Arizona, the son of James Douglas, Jr., he graduated from Amherst College in 1916 and was a student attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology when he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on August 15, 1917 during World War I. Promoted to First Lieutenant, he served as an assistant, G-3 staff in the 91st Infantry Division until he was dischaged on February 18, 1919.

After the war, he worked at his father's United Verde Extension mine at Jerome, Arizona, then became an instructor of history at Amherst College. In 1923, he was elected to the Arizona State house of representatives and served until 1925. He was elected as a Democrat in 1927 to the Seventieth United States Congress. He was re-elected to the Seventy-second United States Congress and Seventy-third United States Congress. He resigned on March 4, 1933 before the Seventy-third United States Congress.

On March 7, 1933, he was appointed Director of the Budget by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and served until August 31, 1934, when he resigned. He broke with the New Deal in 1934, denouncing deficit spending. An internationalist in 1940, he supported Wendell Willkie.

From 1934 to 1937, he was a Vice-President of the American Cyanamid Company. From January 1938 to December 1939, he was the tenth principal and vice chancellor of McGill University. He returned to the United States at the outbreak of World War II.

From 1942 to 1944 he served as the effective head of a major wartime agency, the War Shipping Administration. From 1947 to 1951, he served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom. In 1953, he was appointed by the President to head the Government Study of Foreign Economic Problems and he was a member of the President’s Task Force on American Indians from 1966 to 1967.

From 1944 to 1965, he was a director of General Motors Corporation. From 1949 to 1966, he was the chairman and director, Southern Arizona Bank & Trust Company.

He spent his retirement years operating a large ranch at Sonoita, Arizona. He died in Tucson, Arizona on March 7, 1974 and was later cremated.

He had a daughter, Sharman Douglas.


* Browder, Robert Paul and Thomas G. Smith. "Independent: A Biography of Lewis W. Douglas." (1986).
* Young, Herbert V., "Ghosts of Cleopatra Hill: Men and Legends of Old Jerome", 1964, Jerome [AZ] Historical Society
*congbio|D000455 Retrieved on 2008-02-10

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