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Guide to the James I. Loeb Papers ALBA.158

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
10th Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2630

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Wendy Scheir

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on August 09, 2017
Description is in English. using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Historical/Biographical Note

James Isaac Loeb (1908-1992) was born in Illinois. After receiving his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1938, Loeb moved to New York City with his wife, Ellen. There, Loeb's belief in the Spanish republican cause and his passionate desire to combat totalitarianism led him into political activism, beginning what turned into a career of public service.

A member of the International Labor Solidarity Committee of the Socialist Party, Loeb grew to detest the factionalism that he felt was damaging the unity and effectiveness of many progressive efforts, and during this period he became a sharp critic of the Communist Party. Despite his disaffection, Loeb continued working to gain freedom for Spanish political prisoners and to provide support to refugees. Fluent in Spanish and French, he traveled to Europe to meet with Socialist and other progressive leaders.

In 1941, Loeb co-founded and directed the Union for Democratic Action, and in 1947 he co-founded Americans for Democratic Action. From 1951-1952, Loeb was consultant to President Truman's special counsel. In 1952, he was executive assistant to Governor W. Averell Harriman. From 1961-1962, he was U.S. Ambassador to Peru, and Ambassador to Guinea from 1963-1965.


  • Oral History Interviews with James I. Loeb, Truman Presidential Museum and Library
  • The Papers of James I. Loeb, Dartmouth College Library