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Daniel W. Bell

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Title: Daniel W. Bell  
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Subject: Harold D. Smith, Charles Zwick, Office of Management and Budget, Peter R. Orszag, Kenneth Nichols
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Daniel W. Bell

Daniel W. Bell
Director of the United States Bureau of the Budget
In office
September 1, 1934 – April 14, 1939
Preceded by Lewis W. Douglas
Succeeded by Harold D. Smith
United States Undersecretary of the Treasury
In office
Personal details
Born Daniel Wafena Bell
(1891-07-23)July 23, 1891
Kinderhook, Illinois
Died October 4, 1971(1971-10-04) (aged 80)
Washington, D.C.
Political party Democratic Party

Daniel Wafena Bell (July 23, 1891 – October 4, 1971) was an American civil servant and businessman. Born in Kinderhook, Illinois,[1] he was acting director of the Bureau of the Budget (now the Office of Management and Budget) from September 1, 1934 until April 14, 1939.

He left the post to serve as Undersecretary of the Treasury. Bell negotiated with Colonel Kenneth Nichols for the transfer of silver from the West Point Depository to the Manhattan Project, to substitute for scarce copper in the electromagnets used in the electromagnetic separation process at the Y-12 National Security Complex; eventually about 14,700 tons of silver was used. Nichols initially said he needed six thousand tons of silver, but neither of them could convert the weight to troy ounces. When Nichols said What difference does it make how we express the quantity Bell replied Young man, you may think of silver in tons, but the Treasury will always think of silver in troy ounces.[2]

After the Second World War, he became president of American Security and Trust Company. He died in 1971 at his Washington home.[3]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Nichols, K. D. The Road to Trinity page 42 (1987, Morrow, New York) ISBN 0-688-06910-X
  3. ^ [2]
  • "Daniel W. Bell" at
Political offices
Preceded by
Lewis Douglas
Director of the Office of Management and Budget
Served under: Franklin D. Roosevelt

Succeeded by
Harold D. Smith

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