New York City (JFK+50) Eighty years ago yesterday, July 22, 1935, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, made the cover of Time.
The weekly news magazine's cover depicted a bespectacled, immaculately dressed, and steely eyed Joe Kennedy with the caption...
"He makes it easy for the honest".
A Mr. Robert E. Hickey of the Harvard Club of Boston sent a letter to Time dated August 5, 1935 in which he wrote...
"Your cover picture of Joseph P. Kennedy (TIME July 22) started a discussion as to whether or not he is the first person to appear there a second time. Did he not also appear there at the time of SEC's inception and is not Franklin D. Roosevelt the only other man to be so honored?"
"SEC's Joseph P. Kennedy made his first appearance on Time's cover July 22, 1935. Time's only rule in selection of cover subjects is newsworthiness."
FDR's choice of Joe Kennedy to head the SEC came as a shock to liberals who thought James Landis* would be appointed first chairman. Jerome Frank compared the choice of Joe Kennedy to "setting a wolf to guard a flock of sheep."
Kennedy, nonetheless, was able to win over Mr. Landis, who served on the commission as a member and later replaced Mr. Kennedy as chairman. Joe, according to sechistorical.org/, "welcomed the appointment" and "believed in the mission of the SEC."
JPK was well aware, however, that the organization would be unable to "police every aspect of the markets," and would have to rely to an extent on self-policing.
*James M. Landis (1899-1964) was born in Tokyo to parents who were missionaries. He graduated from Princeton and Harvard Law School. He was called to government service as a member of the Federal Trade Commission before joining the Security and Exchange Commission. JML became the 2nd chairman of the SEC.
Mr. Landis was also a legal adviser to Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and special counsel to President John F. Kennedy. He prepared a report for the president-elect recommending reforms to Federal regulatory agencies. Those recommendations were approved.
"431 Days: Joseph P. Kennedy and the Creation of the SEC, 1934-35," www.sechistorical.org/