Herbert Mayhew Lord Edit Profile
Bachelor of Arts from Colby College, Maine, 1884, A.M. from same college, 1889, Doctor of Laws, 1920. Doctor of Laws, Tufts College, 1929.
He worked for newspapers during and after graduation in such locations as Rockland, Maine. Denver, Colorado; and Tennessee. He also served as a congressional aide, working as the Chief Clerk of the Ways and Means Committee during the passage of the Dingley Tariff Bill, named for Chairman Nelson Dingley.
During the Spanish–American War, he joined the United States Army as a Major and Paymaster of Volunteers, and he was commissioned in the Regular Army near the end of the war. During World War I, he managed the finances for the Quartermaster Corps and was eventually promoted to Director of Finance, controlling the approximately $24 billion appropriations for the War Department. He was awarded the for his services, and he rose to the rank of Brigadier General before retiring on June 30, 1922, to accept the appointment as Director of the U.S. Bureau of the Budget, succeeding the bureau's first director Charles G. Dawes.
Lord worked very closely with President Coolidge on cutting the federal government budget, meeting with him weekly. He became known for strictness and creativity in cutting the budget as well as attention to detail. Lord chided the US army for purchasing 200,000 new brooms when old ones were available, instructed government departments to write fewer and shorter letters, and saved on transportation costs by using lighter official government paper.
Lord and Coolidge succeeded in lowering the federal spending from around $3.2 billion in 1923 to $3.053 billion in 1924. Lord's efforts helped in allowing the federal government to run a surplus throughout Coolidge's tenure as President, enabling significant reductions in the federal debt built up by previous administrations.
Married Annie Stuart Waldo, September 9, 1885.