Frank Bane, 89, the first executive director of the Social Security Board and the official who drew up the nation's Social Security program, died of cancer Sunday at Washington House in Alexandria.
Mr. Bane was one of the most influential yet least known men in the federal government from 1930 through the 1950s. He helped develop the concept of public welfare into a major governmental function. During World War II, he organized national rationing of tires, cars, gasoline, sugar, coffee, meat and other commodities.
In 1930, he founded the American Public Welfare Association. From 1935, when it was organized, until 1938, he administered the vast Social Security system.
For the next 20 years he worked in Chicago as executive director of the Council of State Governments. He once wrote that he had worked with 414 governors over 35 years.
During World War II, while still heading the Council of State Governments, Mr. Bane was called to Washington to serve as director of field operations in the Office of Price Administration. It was in this job that he played such a large role in rationing. He also directed the homes utilization division of the National Housing Authority.
In 1958, he returned here to organize President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Advisory Committee on Intergovernmental Relations. He continued that work under President John F. Kennedy. He also chaired the Surgeon General's Council on Medical Education and in 1960 was consultant to the White House Conference on Children and Youth. He was Regents' professor at the University of California in Berkeley in 1964 and lectured at universities here and abroad until 1976.
Mr. Bane was born in Smithfield, Va. He earned a bachelor's degree at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va., and did graduate work at Columbia University. He taught in Virginia and then went to Tennessee as director of the state's public welfare program. From 1926 to 1930, he was state director of public welfare in Virginia.
His wife, Greyson Bane, died in 1953.
Survivors include a daughter, Clark Hutchinson of Wilmington, Del.; a son, Frank, of Berkeley Springs, W. Va.; five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.