The First and Final Task

The Fireside—News and Views from The Living New Deal

The First and Final Task

Harry Hopkins

Harry Hopkins

A social worker from Sioux City, Iowa, Harry Hopkins served as FDR’s personal advisor for the duration of his presidency. As head of New Deal relief, Hopkins worked tirelessly to provide jobs and assistance to millions of Americans struggling through the Great Depression. During World War II, Hopkins served as FDR’s envoy to the European Allies in the fight against fascism. At Hopkins’ memorial service in 1946, John Steinbeck reflected on Hopkins’ legacy of social justice: “Human welfare is the first and final task of government. There is no other.”

As our nation struggles to regain its footing at home and abroad, infrastructure and diplomacy are again at the top the president’s agenda. Harry Hopkins remains a paragon of public service.

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New Deal Maps

Check out our latest map and guide to the work of the New Deal in Washington, D.C. It includes 500 New Deal sites in the District alone, highlighting 34 notable sites, and includes an inset map of the area around the National Mall which can be used for self-guided walking tours.

Take a look at our previous guides, equally comprehensive, covering key New Deal sites in San Francisco and New York City.