Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

Ogden L. Mills (1932–1933): Secretary of the Treasury

Odgen Livingston Mills was born August 23, 1884. The son of a wealthy family with interests in mining, railroads, and banking, Mills attended Harvard University, where he earned an A.B. (1904) and a J.D. (1907).

Mills became active in Republican Party politics in New York and became Republcian Party county treasurer in 1911. He ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1912 but won election to the New York state senate in 1914 and 1916. During World War I, he served the American Expeditionary Forces as a captain.

In 1921, Mills won election to Congress and remained in the House of Representatives for three terms. In 1927, President Calvin Coolidge appointed him undersecretary of treasury, serving in a department under the leadership of Andrew Mellon. Mills became secretary of treasury when Mellon resigned in February 1932, serving until the end of President Hoover’s term. A strong advocate of the gold standard, Mills fought for a balanced budget despite the rising problems of unemployment and increasing demands for government spending to alleviate the Depression.

Ogden Mills died in New York City on October 11, 1937.