George W. Mitchell

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George W. Mitchell
9th Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve
In office
May 1, 1973 – February 13, 1976
Nominated by Richard Nixon
Preceded by J.L. Robertson
Succeeded by Stephen S. Gardner
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
In office
August 31, 1961 – February 13, 1976
Nominated by John F. Kennedy
Personal details
Born (1904-02-23)February 23, 1904
Richland Center, WI
Died January 25, 1997 (1997-01-26) (aged 92)
Arlington, VA
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Wisconsin
University of Chicago
University of Iowa

George Wilder Mitchell (February 23, 1904 – January 25, 1997) was an American economist, who served as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from May 1973 to February 1976. Before that he was a Federal Reserve Governor for 12 years and a long-time staffer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. He was an early promoter of electronic banking.

Early life and education[edit]

Mitchell was born on February 23, 1904, to George Ray and Minnie Mitchell in rural Richland Center, WI. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1925. After graduating, he worked as a research assistant at the University of Iowa and the University of Chicago until 1932.[1]


In 1933, Mitchell was hired as the Director of Research for the Illinois Tax Commission. In 1940, he became Assistant to the Director of Revenue for the State of Illinois.[1]

In 1943, Mitchell joined the staff of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, but was also as a consultant for the Bureau of Internal Revenue. During this time, Mitchell simultaneously served as Director of Finance for the State of Illinois under Governor Adlai Stevenson. He was later appointed as the head of research for the Chicago Fed.[1]

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed Mitchell as a Governor for the Federal Reserve Board.[2]

In 1973, President Richard Nixon appointed Mitchell as the Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.[2] He served under Fed Chairman Arthur F. Burns. Shortly thereafter, he was thrust into a difficult position of resisting a guarantee of the municipal bonds of New York City, echoing the stance favored by President Gerald Ford. Mitchell stated that a guarantee would be akin to a bailout and would subject the Fed to all manner of political pressures.[2] Ultimately, the federal government helped New York City avoid bankruptcy with a loan and debt restructuring by the Municipal Assistance Corporation in 1975.

Mitchell was a member of the American Economic Association, American Finance Association, and National Committee on Government Finance, Brookings Institution.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d JKF Library (Accessed December 5, 2009)
  2. ^ a b c Barry Meier George W. Mitchell, 92, Ex-Official at the Fed New York Times, February 1, 1997 (Accessed December 5, 2009)

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
J.L. Robertson
Vice Chairman of the
Federal Reserve System

1973 – 1976
Succeeded by
Stephen S. Gardner