Miller Center

Charles F. Brannan (1948–1953) - Secretary of Agriculture

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Charles Franklin Brannan was born in 1903 in Denver, Colorado. He earned a law degree from the University of Denver in 1929, the same year he was admitted to the Colorado bar. President Franklin D. Roosevelt made Brannan assistant regional counsel for the Resettlement Administration in 1935, a New Deal program under the auspices of the Department of Agriculture. Two years later, Brannan was serving as the Department of Agriculture’s regional attorney in the Office of Solicitor; by 1941, he was the regional director of the Farm Security Administration (FSA) for Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming. Brannan served for a short time as assistant administrator of the FSA, until President Roosevelt tapped him to become his assistant secretary of agriculture, a post Brannan retained under President Harry Truman. In 1948, however, Truman nominated him to become his secretary of agriculture, a position Brannan held throughout Truman’s second administration. After leaving office in 1953, Brannan continued to practice law, serving for a time as general counsel for the National Farmers Union. In 1962, he helped evaluate the effectiveness of farm programs for the Department of Agriculture. Charles Franklin Brannan died in 1992.

Citation Information

Consulting Editor

Alonzo L. Hamby

Professor Hamby is a Distinguished Professor of History at Ohio University. His writings include:

For the Survival of Democracy: Franklin Roosevelt and the World Crisis of the 1930s (Free Press, 2004)

Man of the People: A Life of Harry S. Truman (Oxford University Press, 1998)

Beyond the New Deal: Harry S. Truman and American Liberalism (Columbia University Press, 1973)