Dr. George E. Bigge, a former assistant secretary of Health, Education and Welfare and an official of the Social Security system for many years, said of cancer Friday at the Carriage Hill Bethesda Nursing Home. He was 90.
Dr. Bigge began his career with the federal government in 1937, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed him to the old Social Security Board. Except for a period in 1945 and 1946 when he was an advisor on Social Security to the U.S. military government in Germany, he remained a high Social Security official in Washington until 1953, when the Department of Health. Education and Welfare took over administration of the program. At that time, Dr. Bigge became an assistant secretary of HEW in charge of federal-state relations.
In 1957, he reached the statutory retirement age. He was appointed a special assistant to Arthur S. Fleming, the secretary of HEW, for federal-state relations. He retired a second time in 1959.
Dr. Bigge was born in Grayling, Mich., and grew up on a farm near Manistee, Mich. He attended Ferris Institute and earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Michigan. He taught in Michigan for several years and set up an education program for the Michigan State Penitentiary. From 1927 to 1937, he taught at Brown University and served as the chairman of its department of economics.
He resided in the Westmoreland. Hills section of Bethesda until about six weeks before his death.
Dr. Bigge's survivors include two daughters Dr. Ereell V Bros. of Namsps, Norway and Joanna B. Crichton, of Kensington; two sons Col. Louis G. Bigge of Manister, Mich. and William R. Bigge, of Washington, a brother, Dr. Adlolph Bigge, of Leesburg, Fla. 12 grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.