Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

William H. Woodin (1933–1933): Secretary of the Treasury

William Hartman Woodin was born May 27, 1868, in Berwick, Pennsylvania. He attended the School of Mines at Columbia University but left before finishing a degree. Woodin spent most of his career in the private sector, starting as president of the American Car and Foundry Company in 1922 and serving as chairman of the board of the American Locomotive Company, the J. B. Brill Company, the Montreal Locomotive Works, and the Railway Steel Spring Company. He would also become a director of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York City. Along the way, Woodin became an accomplished songwriter.

He was appointed secretary of the treasury in 1933 but resigned after only one year because of illness and a minor scandal: the Senate Banking Committee had found his name on a list of J. P. Morgan's preferred customers and discovered that he had been given preferred stock options. William Woodin died on May 3, 1934, in New York City.