David A. Morse directed the International Labor Organization in Geneva for 22 years, urging the 10 member-nations toward peace, prosperity, and social justice. When the 1969 Nobel Peace Prize went to the organization, many said it was awarded just as much to Morse. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1932 and was recruited by New Deal bureaucrat Harold Ickes as a lawyer for the U.S. Department of the Interior. Morse served as regional attorney in New York for the National Labor Relations Board, and later as impartial arbitrator for the metropolitan-area milk industry and the cleaning and dyeing industries. As a U.S. Army officer during World War II, he drafted labor policies for Germany and Italy that won the Legion of Merit award. Under President Harry S Truman, he was under secretary and acting secretary of labor. Two years later, while serving as chief of the United States delegation to the International Labor Organization, he was tapped for the organization’s top leadership role. After returning to the United States, Morse formed a law firm in Manhattan and practiced labor law for 20 years. He died in 1990 at age 83.
David A. Morse
Attorney, Labor Leader
Rutgers College 1929
Hall of Distinguished Alumni Class of