H. Rowe, Jr. (1909-1984) was a lawyer and New
who was one of the Democrats appointed to the Commission
for the Reorganization of the Executive Branch of
Government, commonly known as the Hoover Commission.
Committed to an active federal government, Rowe often
found himself at odds with Herbert Hoover, whose commitment
to limiting the size of government was his philosophical
After earning both his undergraduate and law degrees
from Harvard, Rowe served as secretary to Supreme
Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. In 1935, Rowe
moved on to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation
as a legal adviser. He spent the next decade working
his way through New Deal agencies and up the Democratic
Party ranks, eventually working as administrative
assistant to President Roosevelt from 1939-1941.
During World War II, Rowe served as assistant attorney
general and in the U.S. Naval Reserves. He moved to
the Bureau of the Budget after the war, where he worked
with director James Webb to balance the budget. It
was from this position that Truman selected Rowe for
the Hoover Commission in the fall of 1947.
Rowe was discomfited by the political jockeying in
the timing of the reports of the Hoover Commission.
He argued that all 'non-political' reports should
be published when complete, regardless of the timing
in relation to the fall elections. Hoover, for his
part, wanted revisions and additional research done;
thus delaying publication until after the November
1948 elections. Hoover's position carried the day.
Rowe weathered the dispute with Hoover and continued
to work in the Truman administration. He chaired the
commission to reorganize the government of Puerto
Rico and held various positions in the State Department.
With the election of Eisenhower, Rowe returned to
his legal practice. For more information see: Who's
Who in America, 1952-1953, p. 2090.