Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008

Harold L. Ickes

A staunch conservationist and avid New Dealer, Ickes was a champion of the National Park Service and a fierce opponent of corruption who earned the nickname "Honest Harold." But perhaps his greatest role — assumed while Interior Secretary — was as head of the Public Works Administration, a multibillion-dollar enterprise that created millions of jobs by funding construction projects ranging from bridges and highways to dams and airports. The government gene was apparently passed on — Ickes' son, Harold M. Ickes, is a veteran Democratic strategist and former deputy White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton.