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Beck, Bertram M.

in: People
Bert Beck
Bert Beck
Photo: NASW

Bertram Beck (1918 – 2000) — Settlement House Director, Deputy Director NASW, Educator and Consultant


Bertram Beck received a Masters in Art in Social Work in 1942 from the University of Chicago. He worked as a psychiatric social worker for the United States Air Force from 1942-1946.

Elected to the original board of NASW, he resigned this office to become the first Deputy Director of the Association, a position that he held until the early 1960s. From 1977 to 1985 he was general director of the Community Service Society of New York City, an organization that focuses its efforts on income maintenance, health care, affordable housing and education for lower-income city residents. Before that Mr. Beck was executive director of Henry Street Settlement Urban Life Center (1967-1977) and served as executive director of Mobilization for Youth (1965-1969). He was director of the Special Juvenile Delinquency Project of the United States Children’s Bureau; a lecturer at Smith College, School of Social Work. In 1985, Beck was appointed professor of social service at Fordham University’s School of Social Work, lecturing students on social policy. His first-hand knowledge of the topic, enthusiasm and optimism led to his appointment as associate dean in 1987. In 1996 he became Special Assistant to the Dean, a position he held at the time of his death.

During his career, Mr. Beck served as a consultant for the Foundation for Child Development; the Senate Committee on Juvenile Delinquency; the White House Conference on Children & Youth; the Office of Economic Opportunity; and the Ford Foundation. Mr. Beck was also active in a variety of community services, volunteering in such areas as: Vice President, Board of Directors, Citizens’ Committee for Children; Vice President, American Parents’ Committee, Inc.; Member, Demonstration Project Panel; President’s Committee on Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Development; Co-Chairman, Inner City Task Force, Department of Health, Education and Welfare Youth Development Administration; Member, Board of Directors, National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers; and Member, Advisory Council to the New York State Commission of Welfare.

He was awarded the Parents’ Magazine Medal for Services to Children in 1954.

He published two books and numerous articles in books and journals, including Encyclopedia Britannica, Social Work Book, Commonweal, Parents’ Magazine, Ladies Home Journal, Social Work, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Sociology.

Republished from: NASW Foundation

How to Cite this Article (APA Format): NASW Foundation (2004). Bertram Beck (1918 – 2000) – Settlement house director, deputy director NASW, educator and consultant. Social Welfare History Project. Retrieved [date accessed] from