Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Obituaries

David E. Bell; Budget Director Under Kennedy

September 13, 2000

David E. Bell, 81, Bureau of the Budget director under President John F. Kennedy. Born in Jamestown, N.D., in 1919, Bell grew up in San Francisco while his father taught at Stanford. He graduated from Pomona College and earned a master's degree in economics at Harvard before beginning his career with the Bureau of the Budget and serving in the Marine Corps during World War II. Bell taught at Harvard's Graduate School of Public Administration, but served the federal government in several administrations. He was White House executive assistant under President Harry S. Truman and economic advisor to Pakistan under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Kennedy named Bell budget director shortly after being elected in 1960. Bell said in a 1961 Los Angeles Town Hall speech that he foresaw a balanced budget within four or five years. Advocating use of the budget to stimulate or rein in the national economy, Bell labored for two years to help people understand the role of the budget in government and did much to revolutionize fiscal planning by federal agencies. He also reduced the size of the printed budget to something that could fit into a pocket. In December 1962, Kennedy persuaded Bell to take on a new challenge as director of the Agency for International Development, administering foreign aid. Bell left government in 1966 to oversee international activities for the Ford Foundation. On Sept. 6 in Cambridge, Mass., of leukemia.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|