Frances Perkins: The Woman Behind the New Deal

Social Security > The Roots of Social Security

Photograph of President Roosevelt, with Frances Perkins and others,

Signing the Social Security Bill

Washington, White House, 14 March 1935

Frances Perkins Papers, Box 61

Perkins in shown here along with Rep. Robert L. Doughton and Sen. Robert F. Wagner, to her left, and Sen. Pat Harrison, William H. King, Rep. David J. Lewis, and Rep. Samuel B. Hill to her right, as the President signs the Social Security Bill.

Gift of Frances Perkins


Social Security Board

Social Security in America

Washington: Government Printing Office, 1937

Frances Perkins Papers, Box 76

After the Social Security Act was passed, the Social Security Board was formed. Arthur Altmeyer, Second Assistant Secretary of Labor, mentioned by Perkins as her “right-hand man” in “The Roots of Social Security,” and one of the original members of the board, served as chairman from 1937 to 1953.

Gift of Frances Perkins


Frances Perkins

The Roots of Social Security

Baltimore, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Social Security Administration, August, 1963

Frances Perkins Papers, Box 152

Perkins delivered this address on October 23, 1962, at the General Staff Meeting of the Social Security Administration in Baltimore. Maryland.

Gift of Susanna Perkins Coggeshall, 1970


You can hear Frances Perkins deliver her 1962 address, The Roots of Social Security, and can see a transcript of her text through the link below, connecting to the Social Security Administration's web site:


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