Robert Weeks De Forest


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(1848–1931) Robert Weeks De Forest, president of the New York Charity Organization Society from 1888 to 1931, was a lawyer, philanthropist, and social reformer. A native New Yorker, he was often referred to as “New York's first citizen” because of his efforts on the city's behalf. He received an LLB from Columbia University Law School in 1872 and an MA from Yale University in 1873. For more than 50 years he served as general counsel of the Central Railroad of New Jersey. He helped draft New York's first tenement house law in 1901, fought the activities of loan sharks who took advantage of poor people, and helped found a national association to combat tuberculosis.


From Encyclopedia of Social Work in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Social Work.

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