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Andrews, John Bertram

in: People


John Bertram Andrews (1880–1943): Social Reformer, Labor Expert, Economist and Author


John Bertram Andrews
John Bertram Andrews
Photo: Library of Congress
Digital ID cph 3b20615

John Bertram Andrews was an American economist who studied and advocated for progressive labor reform. Born in South Wayne, Wisconsin on August 2, 1880, Andrews studied history and economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and at Dartmouth College. In 1909, Andrews became the executive secretary of the American Association for Labor Legislation (AALL), an organization founded to study labor conditions and legislation. Under Andrews’ leadership, the AALL became an advocacy group for worker’s compensation, occupational health and safety, and child labor laws. In 1911, Andrews founded the American Labor Legislation Review to record milestones and advances in social reforms. His most significant work regarded health and unemployment insurance for workers.

In addition, Andrews authored Principles of Labor Legislation (1916) and History of Labor in the United States (1918) with John R. Commons, another American economist, progressive, and labor historian, under whom he studied at the University of Wisconsin.

Representatives to the Un-employment Conference called by President Harding, Washington, D.C., Sept. 26, 1921
Representatives to the Un-employment Conference called by President Harding, Washington, D.C., Sept. 26, 1921
Photo: Library of Congress
Digital ID pan 6a35021

In 1921, President Harding called Andrews to serve as executive secretary of the President’s Conference on Unemployment called in response to the Depression of 1920-1921.

John Andrews was also a member of the secretariat to the League of Nations’ first International Labor Conference, convened in Washington, D.C. in October 1919.

On August 8, 1910, John Andrews married Irene Osgood Andrews, an American writer on the problems of women in industry who later served as assistant secretary of the AALL. They had a son, John Osgood Andrews.



Library of Congress Name Authority File

John Boman, E. (2001). John Bertram Andrews (1880-1943). Cambridge Dictionary Of American Biography, 1.

For Further Reading:

Report of the President’s Conference on Unemployment:

International Labor Conference, first annual meeting, October 29, 1919-November 29, 1919. Pan American Union Building, Washington, D. C., U. S. A.: 

How to Cite this Article (APA Format): Social History Welfare Project (2016, September 19). John Bertram Andrews (1880-1943): Social reformer, labor expert, economist, author. Social Welfare History Project. Retrieved [date accessed] from