Wilbur J. Cohen

Wilbur Joseph Cohen ( born June 10, 1913 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, † May 17 1987 in Seoul, South Korea) was an American professor, politician and minister for health, education and welfare of the United States.


After attending Lincoln High School in Milwaukee, he studied at the University of Wisconsin -Madison and graduated in 1934 with a Bachelor in the Department of Philosophy ( Bachelor of Philosophy ( Ph.B. ) ) from.

In 1936 he was Technical Advisor to the Chairman of the Public Social Security pension and worked there until 1952. In 1956 he accepted a position as Professor of Public Welfare Administration ( Public Welfare Administration) at the University of Michigan, where he worked until his death. At times, he was also Dean of the Faculty of Education, University of Michigan.

In 1961 he entered the Government service and joined the staff in the health, education and welfare ministry of the United States. At first he was Assistant to the Minister for the legislation ( Assistant Secretary for Legislation ). Subsequently, he was 1965-1968 Undersecretary of this ministry.

On 16 May 1968 he was finally appointed himself President Lyndon B. Johnson as Minister of Health, education and welfare of the United States (U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare ) in the Cabinet and was this to the end of Johnson's Presidency on 20 January 1969.


Cohen was also the author of numerous books on social, pension and labor market policy of the United States. Among his most important publications include:

  • Retirement Policies Under Social Security, 1957
  • Income and Welfare in the United States, 1962
  • The Elimination of Poverty in the United States, 1963
  • The Roosevelt New Deal: A Program Assessment Fifty Years After, 1986
  • Unemployment Insurance in the United States: The First Half Century, 1993 ( co-authors Saul J. Blaustein and William Haber )