W. Randolph Burgess, 80, a former undersecretary of the Treasury and U.S. ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, died o congestive heart failure Saturday at his home in Washington.
Ambassador Burgess was a statisticans by training and a banker and economist by profession. He came to Washington in 1953 after a successful career in both the public and private sectors of Wall Street. He played a prominent role in formulating the nation's foreign and domestic economic and fiscal policies in the early years of the Elsenhower administration.
In 1957, having served four years at Treasury, he was named ambassador to NATO. He also was the U.S. representative to the Organization for European Economic Cooperation. He was chairman of the "Group of Four on Economic Organization." This led to the replacement of the OEEC by the 20-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The purpose of the OECD was to co-ordinate economic policies among the Atlantic nations and their relations with the developing world.
In 1961, Ambassador Burgess returned to private life. He was chairman of the Per Jacobsson Foundation. He also was a founder and chairman of the Atlantic Council, a foreign policy study group, and remained active in it until shortly before his death. In 1970, he and James R. Huntley wrote a book called "Europe and America - the Next Ten Years." He was a member of the boards of several colleges and universities.
Wararren Randolph Burgess was born in Newport, R.I. He grew up in the Chicago area. He graduated from Brown University in 1912 and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He did graduate work at McGill University in Montreal and earned a doctorate from Columbia University in 1920, having written a dissertation titled "Trends of School Costs."
During World War I, he became acting chief of the statistics branch of the old War Department, the purpose of which was to keep track of the U.S. war effort. He left the Army with the rank of major.
In 1920, he joined the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as a statistician. He remained with the bank for 19 years and was vice president in charge of its government security operations when he resigned in 1938. In 1927, he published "The Reserve Banks and the Money Markets." The book was revised in 1936 and again in 1946 and became a standard reference in its field.
In 1938, Mr. Burgess joined the National City Bank of New York, now the Citibank. He was vice chairman of its board of directors when he joined the organization. In 1948, he became chairman of the bank's executive commmittee and chairman of the board of the City Bank Farmers Trust Co., the trust affiliate of the National City Bank. He retained these responsibilities until he joined the Treasury in 1953.
He was president of the American Bankers Association in 1944-45 and president of the New York State Banker Association in 1940-41. He served on the President's Committee on Foreign Aid in 1951.
Ambassador Burgess's first job at Treasury was as a special assistant to Secretary George M. Humphrey. His special responsibilities were management of the public debt and international policies. These were the responsibilities he kept when he was appointed to the newly created post of undersecretary of the Treasury for monetary affairs in 1954. He was appointed ambassador to NATO in 1957 after Humphrey resigned from the cabinet.
Ambassador Burgess was a member of the board of fellows of Brown University and a trustee of Teachers College at Columbia University and of Robert College in Istanbul. He received honorary degrees from the universities of Rochester and California and from Bowdoin College. He was a commander of the French Legion of Honor.
He was a fellow of the American Statistical Association and a member of the American Economic Association and the American Philosophical Society.
His first wife, the former May Ayres, whom he married in 1917, died in 1953. In 1955, he married Helen Hamilton Woods, of the homes in Washington and Queenstown, Md., who survives him.
He also is survived by two sons by his first marriage, Leonard R., of Berkeley, Calif., and Julian, of Greenwich, Conn., and two grandsons.
The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Burgess Fellowship Fund, Brown University, Providence, R.I., or to the Atlantic Council, Washington, D.C.