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Photo of George W. Mitchell

George W. Mitchell

  • Vice Chair, Board of Governors, 1973–1976
  • Governor, Board of Governors, 1961–1973
  • Born: February 23, 1904
  • Died: January 25, 1997

George W. Mitchell joined the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System on August 31, 1961. He was appointed vice chairman on May 1, 1973, and held the post until February 13, 1976. Mitchell was a strong proponent of electronic banking during his time at the Board of Governors.

Mitchell was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin, in 1904. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1925. He later attended the University of Iowa (1927–30) and the University of Chicago (1930–33). 

Early in his career, Mitchell served in research assistant roles for a variety of organizations. These included the University of Wisconsin (1925–26), United Typothetae of America (1926–27), the University of Iowa (1927–30), and the University of Chicago (1930–33). His public service began in 1933 when he became research director for the Illinois Tax Commission (1933–39 and again in 1941–43.

In 1943, Mitchell served as assistant to the director of the Illinois Department of Revenue. He was director of the state’s Department of Finance from 1949–51. That role came in between service at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, where Mitchell was first a tax economist (1944–48) and then vice president (1951–61).

Mitchell served in a number of volunteer roles during his career. He was a tax consultant for the Civil Aeronautics Board and director of study of multiple taxation of air commerce from 1944 to 1945. He also was a member of the advisory group appointed by the 80th US Congress’ Joint Committee on Internal Revenue Taxation to investigate the Bureau of Internal Revenue. In addition, he was chairman of the Federal Reserve committee that prepared Automobile Installment Credit Terms and Practices, supplement III, and Consumer Installment Credit, Part I, Vol. 2, 1957. He also was chairman of Federal Reserve Committee on Surveys of Credit and Capital Sources, US Congress, Financing Small Business, Part 2, 1958. Mitchell was a member of Illinois Governor’s Revenue Commission as well as member of National Committee on Government Finance at the Brookings Institution (1961–65).

Mitchell was a member of the American Economic Association, American Finance Association, National Tax Association (president, 1948), Institut International du Finances Publiques, Delta Sigma Rho, and Phi Kappa Phi. Mitchell was also editor or coauthor of a number of publications, including Survey of Local Finance in Illinois (1939–40), Business Activity in Iowa (1930), and Assessment of Real Estate in Iowa and Other Midwestern States (1931).

Mitchell died in 1997.

Written by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. See disclaimer.