Arthur J. Altmeyer

title bar for Commissioner's Bulletin

Number 127

October 18, 1972


To All Employees

All of us in social security lost a good friend this week with the death of Arthur J. Altmeyer. More than any other single person he was responsible for the early development and implementation of social security: he directed the program as Commissioner until 1953. He came to that post from distinguished service to the Nation as a member and then Chairman of the Social Security Board. Many of our present and retired staff members remember him from a time even before that, when he was Chairman of the Technical Board appointed by the President's Committee on Economic Security at the time when the social security program was first being formulated.

Arthur Altmeyer lost none of his interest in the social security program when he left the Federal service. He continued to study it, write about it, and support it. He served as consultant on social security matters for the United Nations, and as advisor to governments and associations abroad.

This enormously able man was a guide and inspiration to all of us who knew him well, and his shaping of the social security program and its administration entitle him to high rank among the outstanding public servants of all time.

I should like to remind you of Arthur J. Altmeyer's credo as reported in an interview in OASIS in August of 1966.

"A person must have articles of faith. I have three: faith in the individual--his dignity, his worth, his potentiality, and his ability to improve himself and the world in which he is a part; faith in democratic Government which sometimes seems painfully slow in arriving at a decision; and faith in using our democratic Government to the maximum extent to promote social welfare. "

graphic of Ball signature

Robert M. Ball