Leon Henderson, the nation's first head of the Office of Price Administration when that inflation-curbing agency was created at the outset of World War II, died Sunday in a Carlsbad retirement center. He was 91 and had lived there since 1981.
Henderson was a seasoned economist whose New Deal credentials dated to the early 1930s. He was named to the Securities and Exchange Commission as a successor to William O. Douglas when Douglas was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939.
He had first joined Roosevelt's economic team in 1934 as an adviser to the National Recovery Administration, one of the groups trying to restore prosperity during the Great Depression.
He was among the first to predict both the 1936 economic boom and the subsequent 1937 recession; was named secretary to the Senate Committee on Manufactures and was economist for the Democratic National Committee in 1936 when Roosevelt first ran for reelection.