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Leland, Simeon E. (Simeon Elbridge), 1897-1972



  • Existence: 1897 - 1972


Simeon Elbridge Leland was born September 2, 1897 in Madison, Indiana, the son of Simeon Elbridge and Elizabeth Wood (Stanley) Leland. He received an A.B. degree from DePauw University in 1918, an A.M. from the University of Kentucky in 1919, and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago in 1926. In addition, Leland studied at Harvard Law School during 1919-1920. He received honorary LL.D. degrees from DePauw in 1947, from Northwestern University in 1966, and from Indiana University in 1971.

Leland married Carolyn Victoria Hargan in 1921. The Lelands had three daughters: Carolyn Victoria (Mrs. Robert J. Ramstad), Elizabeth Stanley (Mrs. George Iber), and Frances Elbridge.

Leland's first academic appointments were at the University of Kentucky where he held the ranks of assistant professor of economics from 1920 to 1924, associate professor from 1924 to 1926, and professor from 1927 to 1928. He also directed Kentucky's Bureau of Business Research from 1927 to 1928. Leland joined the faculty of the University of Chicago in 1928 as associate professor of economics and held this position until his promotion to professor in 1931. From 1938 to 1946 Leland was professor of government finance. He served as acting chairman of the economics department from 1939 to 1940 and as chairman from 1940 to 1946.

In 1946 Leland accepted the positions of Professor of Economics and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Northwestern University. He held both of these positions until his retirement from Northwestern in 1966. The University, upon his retirement, accorded Leland emeritus status. In recognition of his contribution to Northwestern, the University established the Leland Forum, a discussion series, in 1966.

In addition to his academic duties Leland held several important appointments in government service. He was a member of the Illinois Tax Commission from 1933 to 1940 and served as Commission Chairman from 1936 to 1940. He was Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago from 1941 to 1947 and Chairman from 1942 to 1946. He served on the Illinois Public Aid Commission from 1952 to 1953, on the Illinois Revenue Commission in 1961, on the Illinois Governor's Revenue Study Committee from 1968 to 1969, and on the Illinois Citizen's Task Force on Constitutional Implementation in 1971. Leland held positions as Special Adviser to the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (1934), and as a consultant for the National Resources Planning Board (1935-1956), to the Tennessee Valley Authority (1939), and to the Bureau of the Budget (1940-1948). He served as Chairman of the Chicago Technical Committee of Citizens (Strawn Committee) in 1930 and on the Illinois Government Reorganization Committee from 1941 to 1943. He was a financial adviser to the Republic of Panama in 1946, a member of the U.N. Economic Mission to Chile in 1950, and a member of the Fiscal Relations Mission to Puerto Rico in 1953.

Leland was a member of many professional organizations including the National Tax Association (President, 1937-1938), and the Federation of Tax Administrators (Chairman of the Board of Directors, 1937-1940). He was active in the American Economics Association and was A.E.A. Vice-President in 1948. Leland chaired the North Central Association's Commission on Colleges and Universities during 1959-1960. He was a member of the Royal Economic Society and the American Association of University Professors, as well as of numerous honorary and social organizations including Phi Beta Kappa, Delta Upsilon, and the Tavern, Economic, and Wayfarers clubs.

Leland authored several books and reports and scores of articles in the field of government finance. Taxation in Kentucky (1920), his first major publication, was based on his research for the master's degree.

Leland died as a result of an automobile accident on December 7, 1972, near Jacksonville, Illinois, less than three months after Mrs. Leland's death on September 17th.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Records of Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Simeon E. Leland

Identifier: 11/1/2

Simeon E. Leland served as Professor of Economics and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Northwestern University from 1946-1966. These records comprise the administrative files of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences during Leland's tenure.

Dates: 1946 - 1966

Simeon E. Leland (1897-1972) Papers

Identifier: 11/3/10/4
Abstract The Simeon E. Leland Papers, comprising 23 boxes and one package, span the years 1918 to 1972 and contain biographical materials, general correspondence, writings and speeches, course and teaching materials, research and reference files, and files of the University of Chicago Social Science Research Committee pertaining to its investigation of the role of public debt in the modern state. The papers document Leland's career in academics and government service as a specialist in the fields of...
Dates: 1918-1972

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