Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

John W. Snyder (1946–1953): Secretary of the Treasury

John Wesley Snyder was born on June 21, 1895, in Jonesboro, Arkansas. He attended Vanderbilt University for a year but left to join the Army in 1915.

While serving in World War I, Snyder met Harry S. Truman. In 1936, he began working for the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the Reconstruction Finance Administration (RFA). During the 1940s, while with the RFA, Snyder and Senator Harry Truman worked closely together. After Truman became President in 1945, Snyder was appointed director of the Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion.

In June 1946, Truman appointed Snyder secretary of the treasury, a post Snyder held until the end of the Truman administration. He became one of Truman’s closest advisors in both domestic as well as foreign policy.

Following his time in Truman's cabinet, Snyder never held another prominent political post. He was a minor advisor to the Treasury Department from 1955 to 1973 and worked with several philanthropic organizations. John Snyder died in October 1985.