How a Long Beach Doctor Created Social Security

The Angry Retiree Wrote the Letter That Helped Establish the Great Depression's Most Enduring Program


Long Beach, California, is known today for its terrific aquarium, for the Queen Mary, and for being the hometown of Snoop Dogg. But its greatest contribution to the United States may be something else entirely: Social Security.

This month, we marked the 80th anniversary of the establishment of the most enduring policy success of the Great Depression, the program that reduced poverty for millions of older Americans.

But all that came two years after a retired doctor in Long Beach looked out his window one morning in 1933.

Since leaving the …

More In: Who We Were