The Andrew Brimmer Collection at Harvard Is Now Available for Scholarly Research

Special Collections at Harvard Business School’s Baker Library recently announced that the collected papers of Andrew F. Brimmer are now available to researchers. Brimmer, was a respected economist who was the first African American to serve as a governor of the Federal Reserve System.

The Brimmer collection was donated to Harvard by his family. It contains 275 linear feet of materials that was housed in 528 boxes. The collection includes subject files, correspondence, research files, teaching records and files, writings, speeches, presentations, rough drafts, newspaper clippings, photographs, digital content, and audiovisual materials.

After serving in the U.S. Army, Brimmer earned a bachelor’s degree under the GI Bill at the University of Washington. He earned a master’s degree a year later at the University of Washington. After studying in India for two years on a Fulbright Scholarship, Brimmer returned to the United States and earned a Ph.D. in economics at Harvard University.

Dr. Brimmer taught at Michigan State University and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania before President Kennedy named him assistant secretary for economic affairs at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Three years later, President Johnson appointed him to the Federal Reserve System’s Board of Governors.

After leaving the Federal Reserve in 1974, Dr. Brimmer taught at Harvard Business School and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and founded his own economic consulting firm. He served on the board of trustees of Tuskegee University for 45 years.

Dr. Brimmer died in 2012. He received 26 honorary degrees.


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