WAGNER, Robert Ferdinand (1877-1953)
Senate Years of Service: 1927-1949

WAGNER, ROBERT FERDINAND, a Senator from New York; born in Nastatten, Province Hessen-Nassau, Germany, June 8, 1877; immigrated with his parents to the United States in 1885 and settled in New York City; attended the public schools; graduated from the College of the City of New York in 1898 and from New York Law School in 1900; admitted to the bar in 1900 and commenced practice in New York City; member, State assembly 1905-1908; member, State senate 1909-1918, the last eight years as Democratic floor leader; chairman of the State Factory Investigating Commission 1911-1915; delegate to the New York constitutional conventions in 1915 and 1938; justice of the supreme court of New York 1919-1926; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1926; reelected in 1932, 1938 and 1944 and served from March 4, 1927, until his resignation on June 28, 1949, due to ill health; chairman, Committee on Patents (Seventy-third Congress), Committee on Public Lands and Surveys (Seventy-third and Seventy-fourth Congresses), Committee on Banking and Currency (Seventy-fifth through Seventy-ninth Congresses); author of the National Labor Relations Act ("Wagner Act"), that created the National Labor Relations Board in 1935; delegate to the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference at Bretton Woods in 1944; died in New York City, May 4, 1953; interment in Calvary Cemetery, Queens, New York City.

American Jewish Archives
Cincinnati, OH
Papers: Correspondence in Jacob Billikopf papers, 1900-1951. Finding aid.

American Jewish Historical Society
Waltham, MA
Papers: Correspondence in Marion E. Kenworthy papers, 1938-1952; and Charles Schwanger papers, 1909-1948.

Columbia University
Oral History Project
New York, NY
Oral history: Discussed in numerous interviews.

Columbia University
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
New York, NY
Papers: Correspondence in Joseph Dorfman papers, 1890-1983; Charles Yale Harrison papers, [ca. 1920]-1954; and Benjamin N. Cardozo papers, 1885-1939.

Cornell University
Labor Management Documentation
Ithaca, NY
Papers: Correspondence in American Association for Labor Legislation correspondence, 1925-1940, on 29 microfilm reels; Philip Wittenberg, American Civil Liberties Union, Committee on Labor Injunctions, member's files, 1933-1934; National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees general subject files, part c, 1940-1970; American Association for Social Security correspondence, 1927-1944 (bulk 1931-1944); and a speech (1940) by Wagner against Willkie and for the reelection of Roosevelt in National Broadcasting Company selected radio broadcasts, 1935-1950.

Cornell University
Rare Books and Manuscript Collections
Ithaca, NY
Papers: Correspondence in Richard Brown Scandrett papers, 1907-1966; Maurice C. Burritt papers, 1832-1959; and Warren Jay Vinton papers, 1932-1969.

Georgetown University
Special Collections
Washington, DC
Papers: 1912-1949. 588 linear feet. Correspondence, speeches, government documents, committee and commission reports, campaign literature, political cartoons, photographs, newspaper clippings, and other related papers. Topics include labor legislation, the depression and federal programs, civil rights, immigration, and the recognition of a Jewish state in Palestine. Finding aid.

Hagley Museum and Library
Greenville, DE
Papers: In Pierre S. du Pont papers on economic conditions, 1933-1938; John J. Raskob Democratic National Committee papers, 1928-1938; and John J. Raskob papers, 1900-1956.

LaGuardia Community College
Fiorello H. LaGuardia Archives
Long Island City, NY
Papers: 1895-1964. 35 linear feet. Personal correspondence and papers, photographs, portraits, motion-picture film, videotapes, sound recordings and memorabilia. Finding aid.
Oral history: Discussed in interview (1989) with son Mayor Robert F. Wagner, Jr. 30 pages.

Long Island University
Brooklyn Center Library
Brooklyn, NY
Papers: Correspondence in Robert C. Weinberg papers, 1920-1974.

National Library of Medicine
Bethesda, MD
Papers: Material on health legislation introduced by Wagner in Committee for the Nation's Health records, 1939-1956 (bulk 1946-1955), on 12 microfilm reels.

New York City
Municipal Archives
New York, NY
Oral history: In WNYC collection of broadcast recordings, 1938-1970.

New York Public Library
New York, NY
Papers: In William Henry Matthews papers, 1907-1944.

New York State Library
Manuscripts and Special Collections
Albany, NY
Papers: 1933. 1 letter.

Radcliffe College
Schlesinger Library
Cambridge, MA
Papers: Correspondence in Mary Elizabeth Dreier papers, 1797-1963 (bulk 1897-1963); Pauline Newman papers, 1903-1982; and Freda Kirchwey papers, 1871-1972. Finding aid.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Library
Hyde Park, NY
Papers: Correspondence in governor's records, 1929-1932, on 218 microfilm reels of originals in New York State Archives; Herbert Claiborne Pell papers, 1912-1960; Office of Lieutenant Governor records, 1928-1932, on 43 microfilm reels of originals at New York State Archives; and John Ihlder papers, 1894-1958.

State Historical Society of Wisconsin
Archives Division
Madison, WI
Papers: Correspondence in William Morris Leiserson papers, 1901-1959; and Wilbur J. Cohen papers, 1930-1987.

Harry S. Truman Library
Independence, MO
Papers: Documentation of Keyserling's service as legislative assistant to Wagner (1933-1937) in Leon Hirsch Keyserling papers, 1923-1987.

University of Michigan
Bentley Historical Library
Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: Correspondence in Blair Moody papers, 1928-1954; and Prentiss Marsh Brown papers, 1902-1973. Finding aid.

Yale University Libraries
Manuscripts and Archives
New Haven, CT
Papers: Correspondence in Harold Phelps Stokes papers, 1908-1969; Anson Phelps Stokes family papers, 1761-1960; Jerome New Frank papers, 1918-1972 (bulk 1929-1957); and Charles-Edward Amory Winslow papers, 1874-1977.
Research Libraries Information Network: In addition to the institutions listed above, items are also cataloged in collections at: City College Archives, New York, NY; Harvard Business School, Baker Library, Boston, MA; New York University, Tamiment Institute Library, New York, NY; University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; and Yeshiva University Archives, New York, NY.

  • Byrne, Thomas R. "The Social Thought of Senator Robert F. Wagner.'' Ph.D. dissertation, Georgetown University, 1951.
  • Huthmacher, J. Joseph. Senator Robert F. Wagner and the Rise of Urban Liberalism. New York: Atheneum, 1968.
  • ___. "Senator Robert F. Wagner and the Rise of Urban Liberalism.'' American Jewish Historical Quarterly 58 (March 1969): 330-46.