David A. Morse

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

David Abner Morse (31 May 1907 – 1 December 1990) was an American bureaucrat who worked for the International Labour Organization.


Born in New York on May 31, 1907, Morse graduated from Rutgers University in 1929, where he was a member of the Cap and Skull Society,[1] and from the Harvard Law School in 1932. He was admitted to the New Jersey bar in 1932. He later became Special Assistant to the United States Attorney General, Chief Counsel of the Petroleum Labour Policy Board in the US Department of the Interior, and Regional Attorney for the National Labour Relations Board in the metropolitan area of New York.

Army and World War II[edit]

When war broke out, he gave up his law practice to join the army. From June 1943 to April 1944, Morse served as Captain in North Africa, Sicily and Italy, where he was appointed Chief of the Labor Division of the Allied Military Government. He drafted and put into effect the labour policy and programme in Sicily and Italy for the British and United States Governments and armies. As Chief of the Labor Section of the US Group Control Council for Germany under Generals Eisenhower and Clay, he prepared the labor policy and program for Germany. Promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel, he was awarded the Legion of Merit for his army services in 1946.

National Labor Relations Board[edit]

After his discharge from the army, Morse was appointed General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board. On July 1, 1946 President Truman named him Assistant Secretary of Labor and Morse devoted his activities to the creation of the Department's programme of international affairs. Morse had been a delegate to the International Labour Organization (ILO) on two occasions and served as the United States Government representative on the Governing Body. In June 1948, he was named chief of the United States delegation to the International Labour Conference. At the 105th session of the Governing Body in San Francisco in June 1948, he was unanimously elected Director-General for a ten-year term. He was unanimously re-elected for five-year terms in May 1957, in March 1962, and in February 1967. In 1969, as a result of his inspired leadership, the ILO was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. He resigned in February 1970. As Director-General, he was preceded by Edward J. Phelan and succeeded by C. Wilfred Jenks.

Morse died in New York on December 1, 1990.[2]


  1. ^ Cap and Skull Honor Society of Rutgers College
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-05-10. Retrieved 2009-06-17.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Keen Johnson
United States Under Secretary of Labor
Succeeded by
Michael J. Galvin