Andrew Brimmer

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Andrew Brimmer
Andrew Brimmer.jpg
Born Andrew Felton Brimmer
(1926-09-13)September 13, 1926
Newellton, Tensas Parish
Louisiana, U.S.
Died October 7, 2012(2012-10-07) (aged 86)[1]
George Washington University Hospital, Washington, D.C., U.S.
Residence Washington, D.C.
Alma mater Tensas Rosenwald High School
University of Washington
Harvard Business School


Civil rights activist
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Doris Millicent Scott Brimmer
Children Esther Brimmer
Brimmer being sworn in as a member of the Federal Reserve Board by William McChesney Martin in 1966. U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and Brimmer's wife and daughter, Esther, look on.

Andrew Felton Brimmer (September 13, 1926 – October 7, 2012) was a noted United States economist, academic, and business leader who was the first African American to have served as a governor of the Federal Reserve System.[1]

Early life and education

Brimmer was born in Newellton in Tensas Parish, Louisiana, to a family of sharecroppers.[2] He attended racially segregated schools and graduated from the former Tensas Rosenwald High School in St. Joseph, the seat of government of Tensas Parish. He was a classmate of Emmitt Douglas, later the long-term president of the Louisiana NAACP. Tensas Rosenwald closed in 1970, when the parish public schools were desegregated. The formerly all-white Newellton High School then function as a desegregated institution from 1970 until its closing because of low enrollment in 2006.

Brimmer served in the United States Army from 1945 to 1946. He attended the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, where he obtained both his bachelor's and master's degrees. In 1951, Brimmer received a Fulbright scholarship to study in India and enrolled in 1952 in Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1957, he received his Ph.D. from the Harvard Business School.[2]


While he was still at Harvard, Brimmer worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as an economist, and established the central bank of the Sudan. After graduation, Brimmer became assistant secretary of economic affairs in the U.S. Department of Commerce. In 1966, under appointment from U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, Brimmer began an eight-year term on the board of governors of the Federal Reserve, becoming the first African American in that position. In 1974, Brimmer left the Federal Reserve and taught at Harvard University for two years. Thereafter, he formed his own consulting company, Brimmer & Company. He was a trustee of the Economists for Peace and Security.

Brimmer served on the Tuskegee University board of directors from 1965–2010, and as the board's chairman for the last 28 years on the board, making him the longest serving chairman in the school's history.[3]

Personal life and death

Brimmer married the former Doris Millicent Scott.[2] They had a daughter, Esther Dianne Brimmer.[2]

Brimmer died on October 7, 2012 at George Washington University Hospital in Washington.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Andrew Brimmer, First Black on Fed Board, Dies at 86". The New York Times. 2012-10-12. Retrieved 2012-10-12. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "First black member of Federal Reserve was nominated by FBI". The Los Angeles Times. October 22, 2012. p. 16. Retrieved February 28, 2018 – via (Registration required (help)). 
  3. ^ "Andrew Brimmer Retires as Tuskegee University Board Chairman". October 21, 2010. Retrieved August 19, 2012. 

External links

  • Statements and Speeches of Andrew Brimmer during his tenure at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Archives and records

  • Andrew F. Brimmer papers at Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School.
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