Andrew Brimmer

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Andrew Brimmer
Andrew Brimmer.jpg
Andrew Felton Brimmer

(1926-09-13)September 13, 1926
DiedOctober 7, 2012(2012-10-07) (aged 86)[1]
ResidenceWashington, D.C.
Alma materTensas Rosenwald High School
University of Washington
Harvard Business School
Civil rights activist
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Doris Millicent Scott Brimmer
ChildrenEsther 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[edit]

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[edit]

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]


  • Andrew F. Brimmer (1962). Life insurance companies in the capital market. Bureau of Business and Economic Research, Graduate School of Business Administration, Michigan State University.
  • Brimmer Nomination: Hearing Before the Committee on Commerce, United States Senate, Eighty-ninth Congress, First Session, on Nomination of Andrew F. Brimmer, Assistant Secretary of Commerce, February 18, 1965. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1965.
  • Andrew F. Brimmer; Henry S. Terrell (December 29, 1969). "The Economic Potential of Black Capitalism". Fraser, St. Louis Fed.
  • Andrew F. Brimmer (1982). Monetary Policy and the International Diffusion of Interest Rates. International Banking Center & Department of Economics, Florida International University.


  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.

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