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Photo of Joseph A. Erickson

Joseph A. Erickson

  • President, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, 1948–1961
  • Born: January 8, 1896
  • Died: March 14, 1983

Joseph A. Erickson became the eighth president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in December 1948. He served in the position until February 1961.

Erickson was born in 1896, in Lynn, Massachusetts. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in 1918 and served as a first lieutenant in the US Army during World War I. After the war, he became a member of the reparation division of the American Peace Commission.

After leaving the army, Erickson returned to Harvard in 1919 to attend the school of business administration. In 1920, he began his long association with National Shawmut Bank in Boston. Beginning as a clerk, he was promoted to manager of the Credit Department in 1925 and to branch manager in 1926. He became a vice president in 1928 and was elevated to executive vice president in 1942.

In 1948, Erickson was appointed president of the Boston Fed. During his tenure he oversaw the construction of a 55,000 square foot addition to the Bank’s Pearl Street headquarters. His twelve years of service make him the second-longest serving president in the Boston Fed's history.

Erickson was active in charitable affairs, with a particular interest in child welfare causes, serving as treasurer of the American Child Guardian Foundation and a trustee of the Children’s Hospital and the New England Peabody Home for Crippled Children. He was also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Erickson died in Wrentham, Massachusetts. in 1983. He married Esther Reece Stevens and had three children.

Written by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. See disclaimer.