RAY LYMAN WILBUR, M.D. (1875–1949)

Henry Salem Hubbell (1870-1949)1940

U.S. Department of the Interior Museum

U.S. Department of the Interior Museum

Ray Lyman Wilbur's distinguished career in medicine and education was punctuated by periods of public service. During World War I, Wilbur was with the Food Administration and is credited with coining the slogan, "Food Will Win the War." Then at the behest of President Hoover—a close friend from his university days—Wilbur served four years as secretary of the Interior. In centralizing the Department's activities, Wilbur also favored vesting states with authority whenever possible. He took an interest in parks and reclamation and authorized construction of the Hoover Dam. In defending property rights for American Indians and calling for greater self-determination, Wilbur optimistically hoped that the Department's need of an Office of Indian Affairs would be obsolete within a quarter century. When President Hoover was not re-elected for a second term, Wilbur returned to Stanford University, where he continued a presidency that would ultimately span 27 years.

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