Robert F. Wagner (1877 — 1953)
"Of what use are material resources... if the sum total of human happiness enjoyed by all our people be not increased thereby?"
From an impoverished immigrant childhood to the exalted realm of the U.S. Senate where he crafted laws on behalf of society's neediest, Robert F. Wagner embodied the American dream. His pioneering legislation gave hope during the depression of the 1930s emergency relief, employment assistance, jobless help, aid for farmers, Social Security and, most importantly, the Wagner Act, guaranteeing workers the right to organize and bargain collectively. As the author of early national housing legislation, he also fought for civil rights laws in advance of his time.