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About Eugene Robert Black
Eugene Robert Black (January 7, 1873–December 19, 1934) was the Chairman of the Federal Reserve from May 9, 1933 to August 15, 1934. His namesake, Eugene "Gene" Robert Black, Sr., was the first in the family to use the "Sr." designation; Gene's son became Eugene Robert Black, Jr.
He was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and attended the University of Georgia, where he was a member of the Chi Phi Fraternity and the Phi Kappa Literary Society. In 1897, he married the daughter of Henry W. Grady, the famous Atlanta journalist and orator.
Black practiced law for 28 years until he became president of the Atlanta Trust Company in 1921, and in 1928, he became Governor of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He succeeded the long time governor, Max Wellborn, who was also his daughter's father-in-law. When the Wall Street Crash of 1929 happened, he and two cashiers rushed to Nashville, Tennessee to supply currency and credit to banks in the city and surrounding region. The situation worsened with other cities in the region experiencing bank runs. Black kept his district afloat by rushing large quantities of cash to banks that were experiencing runs and extending credit to any bank that could offer any asset of value. He kept this policy active through the Great Depression into 1933. He, along with George L. Harrison, the Governor of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, recommended open market purchases to increase reserves. His insistence on expansionist policies led to the President appointing Black as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in 1933.