Letter to Msgr. John O'Grady, September 23, 1935


FDR letter to O'Grady

Msgr. John O'Grady's contributions to the passage of the Social Security Act, from initial service on the Advisory Council to the Committee on Economic Security through final lobbying for the bill's passage, did not go unnoticed by the President. Roosevelt shared many of O'Grady's goals for social and economic justice, and he recognized and respected O'Grady's expertise in the field of social work. In this letter, Roosevelt writes to O'Grady to request his continuing input: the president clearly recognizes O'Grady's ability to accurately report on the effects of the Social Security legislation on the people who most needed its help. This personal letter clearly reflects O'Grady's influence outside Catholic circles.


As you read the document, reflect on the following questions:

  • What specific requests does Roosevelt make of O'Grady? What does the president want to know?
  • Why do you think Roosevelt singled out O'Grady as one of the "representative clergymen" chosen to advise him?