Frank T. Hines

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Frank Hines
File:Hines Library of Congress 11405u.tif
United States Ambassador to Panama
In office
November 1, 1945 – February 20, 1948
President Harry Truman
Preceded by Avra Warren
Succeeded by Monnett Davis
Administrator of Veterans Affairs
In office
July 21, 1930 – August 15, 1945
President Herbert Hoover
Franklin Roosevelt
Harry Truman
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Omar Bradley
Director of the Veterans Bureau
In office
March 2, 1923 – July 21, 1930
President Warren Harding
Calvin Coolidge
Herbert Hoover
Preceded by Charles Forbes
Succeeded by Position abolished
Personal details
Born (1879-04-11)April 11, 1879
Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
Died April 3, 1960(1960-04-03) (aged 80)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Alma mater Utah State University, Logan
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1898–1920
Rank US-O7 insignia.svg Brigadier General
Battles/wars Spanish-American War
World War I

Frank Thomas Hines (1879–1960) was a United States military officer and head of the U.S. Veterans Bureau (later Veteran's Administration) from 1923 to 1945. Hines took over as head of the Veterans Bureau after a series of scandals discredited the agency. He was considered a "man of stern honesty." In response to the scandals the field service was "centralized to establish strict controls and accountability." [1]

Hines was born in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, on April 11, 1879. He joined the Utah Light Artillery in 1898 and served in the United States military during the Spanish–American War, becoming a second lieutenant. He was a captain by World War I, was promoted three times in 1918, and as a brigadier general served as chief of the Embarkation Service with responsibility for transporting more than 2 million soldiers to Europe in 18 months and shipping them home in 8 months.[2][3]

He retired from the army in 1920 and became president of the Baltic Steamship Company.

Hines served as the administrator of the Veterans Bureau from his appointment by President Harding in 1923 to 1930, then as the first administrator of its successor, the Veteran's Administration, from 1930 to 1945, when President Truman replaced him with Gen. Omar Bradley.[4]

He opposed the payment of the Veterans Bonus to World War I veterans. On April 26, 1932, during the hearings on Payment of Adjusted-Compensation Certificates before the House Committee on Ways and Means he testified: that the trust fund had already been nearly exhausted by the previous year’s act increasing the loan restriction on adjusted compensation accounts to 50%; that full payment now would cost the Government $1,600,000,000; and that in any case the accounts represented the only assets many veterans possessed, leaving nothing to families if the veteran should die. “We should make every possible effort to see that they get employment. There is no question about that. But whether we would be doing the veterans a real service by cashing in these certificates, even if we were in a position to do it, would seem to me very doubtful.”[5]

He then served as United States Ambassador to Panama and negotiated an agreement for the United States to lease bases there, where troops had been stationed during the war. The Panama Assembly rejected the agreement by a unanimous vote. Hines resigned in 1947, effective March 1, 1948, to become an executive with Acacia Life Insurance Company.[6]

Hines was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).[7]

Until shortly before his death he served as a director of Acacia Life. Hines died of pneumonia on April 3, 1960, in Mount Alto Veterans Hospital in Washington, D.C.[2] He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


  1. Kammerer, Gladys. 1948. "The Veterans Administration in Transition" Public Administration Review. Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 103-109.
  2. 2.0 2.1 New York Times: "Brig Gen. Hines, Ex-V.A. Head Dies," April 5, 1960, accessed March 12, 2012
  3. New York Times: "Brig Gen. Hines, Ex-V.A. Head Dies," June 1, 1919, accessed March 12, 2012
  4. New York Times: Frank T. Hines, "Transporting the American Army", June 8, 1945, accessed March 12, 2012
  5. Hearings on Payment of Adjusted-Compensation Certificates before the House Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives, Seventy-Second Congress, First Session p. 553 HathiTrust Digital Library
  6. New York Times: "Envoy to Panama Quits; Truman Voices Regret", February 12, 1948, accessed March 12, 2012
  7. Robert C. Freeman, "Latter-day Saints in the World Wars", Out of Obscurity: The LDS Church in the Twentieth Century (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2000), 111

Further reading

  • Brian Waddell, The War against the New Deal: World War II and American Democracy (Dekalb, 2001)
  • Alan Brinkley, The End of Reform: New Deal Liberalism in Recession and War (NY: 1995)

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Charles Forbes
Director of the Veterans Bureau
Position abolished
New office Administrator of Veterans Affairs
Succeeded by
Omar Bradley
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Avra Warren
United States Ambassador to Panama
Succeeded by
Monnett Davis