Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

Julius A. Krug (1946–1949): Secretary of the Interior

Julius Albert Krug was born in 1907 in Madison, Wisconsin. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1929 and a master's in utilities management and economics in 1930, both from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Krug then worked as a research statistician for the Bell Telephone System in Milwaukee before heading to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, first as a technician on utility rates and evaluations and ultimately as the chief of the depreciation section.

By 1935, the Federal Communications Commission had hired Krug to become its public utilities expert, but three years later, he was working for the governor of Kentucky as the chairman of the state's Public Service Commission. After a brief stint in Kentucky, Krug, at the request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, went to work as the head of power operations for the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1938. Two years later, he was in Costa Rica, again at Roosevelt's request, to manage the country's utilities.

When the United States joined World War II, Krug shifted his efforts to the Office of Production Management and then to the War Production Board, where he handled production and power problems as the chief of the power branch, deputy director general for priorities control, and deputy director general for distribution, ultimately becoming director of the Office of War Utilities. In 1944, Krug left the War Production Board to serve as a lieutenant commander in the United States Navy Reserve; when he returned after several months, he headed back to the War Production Board, this time as its chairman.

Krug resigned from the War Production Board a year later, but in 1946, President Harry Truman tapped him to become secretary of the interior following Harold Ickes's resignation. Krug himself resigned after three years, but remained in the capital, where he worked as a consultant on power issues. Two decades later, he moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, where he became the co-owner of Volunteer Asphalt Company and served as chairman of the board of Brookside Mills. Julius Albert Krug died in 1970.