Marion B. Folsom

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Marion Folsom
2nd United States Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare
In office
August 1, 1955 – July 31, 1958
PresidentDwight D. Eisenhower
Preceded byOveta Culp Hobby
Succeeded byArthur Sherwood Flemming
Personal details
Born(1893-11-23)November 23, 1893
McRae, Georgia, U.S.
DiedSeptember 27, 1976(1976-09-27) (aged 82)
Rochester, New York, U.S.
Resting placeArlington National Cemetery
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Mary Davenport
EducationUniversity of Georgia (BA)
Harvard University (MBA)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Battles/warsWorld War I

Marion Bayard Folsom (November 23, 1893 – September 27, 1976) was an American government official and businessman. He served as the U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare from 1955 to 1958 under President Dwight D. Eisenhower.[1]


Folsom was born in McRae, Georgia. He was the son of William Bryant Folsom and Margaret Jane (née McRae). Folsom graduated from the University of Georgia, and he received a master's degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.

In 1914, Folsom joined the Eastman Kodak Company. After serving with the Army in World War I, he returned to Kodak where he developed one of the nation's first private industry social security plans. Folsom married Mary Davenport, on November 16, 1918, with whom he had three children, Jane McRae, Marion Bayard, Jr. and Frances Folsom.

He served as a captain in the U.S. Army during World War I and was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1934, Folsom was appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a member of an Advisory Council on Economic Security, which laid the foundation for the present Social Security program. He served from 1935 to 1953 as a Treasurer of the Eastman Kodak Company.

After resigning from Eastman Kodak, he became the Under Secretary of the Treasury from 1953 to 1955. He served as the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare with President Dwight D. Eisenhower from August 1, 1955, following the resignation of Oveta Culp Hobby, until July 31, 1958. Folsom commuted between his job as the treasurer for Eastman Kodak in Rochester, New York, and various Washington posts.

He died in Rochester, New York, on September 27, 1976. Folsom was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.


  1. ^ Tomasson, Robert E. (29 September 1976). "Marion B. Folsom is Dead at 82; Architect of Social Security Act". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 June 2019.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by United States Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare
August 1, 1955 – July 31, 1958
Succeeded by