MOLEY, RAYMOND (27 Sept. 1886-18 Feb. 1975), professor, presidential advisor, and director of the CLEVELAND FOUNDATION, was born in Berea, Ohio, to Felix James and Agnes Fairchild Moley. He attended Baldwin University (1902-06) and received an A.M. (1913) from Oberlin College and a Ph.D. (1918) from Columbia University in political science. In 1916, WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY hired Moley to teach political science. During WORLD WAR I Moley also served as head of the local and state Americanization boards. In 1919 Moley resigned from WRU to become director of the Cleveland Foundation, which became noted for its surveys of city social problems. Moley accepted a teaching position at Columbia's Barnard College in 1923, remaining until 1954. In Jan. 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Moley to assemble advisors to develop programs for his presidential campaign; Moley selected mainly Columbia professors, who became the "Brain Trust."

Moley wrote speeches and advised FDR in 1932-33. He resigned in Aug. 1933 over conflicts with Secretary of State Cordell Hull, but continued to advise and write speeches for FDR on a part-time, non-paid basis until 1936, when he grew disillusioned with New Deal hostility to business and FDR's increasing involvement in foreign affairs. In 1933 Moley became editor of Today magazine, remaining after the 1937 merger with Newsweek, until 1967. In 1941 he began a nationally syndicated tri-weekly newspaper column. He wrote 19 books.

Moley was a senior advisor to Republican presidential aspirants Wendell Willkie, Barry Goldwater, and Richard Nixon. In 1970 he received the Medal of Freedom. Moley married Eva Dall in 1916 and had 2 sons, Malcolm and Raymond, Jr. They divorced in 1948, and Moley married Frances Hebard in 1949. Moley is buried in Phoenix, Ariz.

Moley, Raymond. Realities and Illusions, 1886-1931, ed. Frank Freidel (1980).

Raymond Moley Papers, Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, Stanford, Calif.

Article Categories