Washington (Aug. 17)
Congratulatory messages were received today by Dr. Ernest Gruening, editor and authority on Caribbean matters, who was appointed director of the new Division of Territories and Island Possessions by Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes.
The new division head spent his second day in office studying the problems of Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. He had been sworn in yesterday by Secretary Ickes. The policies of the new division, which was set up July 28 by executive order, are yet to be determined.
Dr. Gruening is forty-seven, a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Medical School. Preferring journalism to medicine, upon his graduation in 1911 he began as a reporter for the Boston American. He occupied various positions on Boston newspapers for several years.
He came to New York and became managing editor of the Tribune. He was managing editor of the Nation from 1920 to 1923. In 1924 he was national director of publicity for the LaFollette Presidential campaign.
During the years 1924 to 1926 he collected material in Mexico for his book “Mexico and Its Heritage,” which is an acknowledged standard work on the subject. From 1927 to 1932 he was editor of the Portland (Maine) Evening News, which he founded.
On January 1, 1933, he returned to New York, to become one of the editors of the Nation. In 1920 the Nation, under Mr. Gruening’s managing editorship, exposed for the first time the events surrounding the United States occupation of Haiti and San Domingo. This campaign led to a Senate inquiry. For fifteen years, in print and on the platform, Gruening has urged the cessation of United States military and financial intervention in affairs of neighboring Latin-American nations, the abrogation of the Platt Amendment and the withdrawal of American forces from Haiti, policies which President Roosevelt has put into effect.
Gruening is at present a member of the commission sent by the Foreign Policy Association at the invitation of President Carlos Mendietta to make an economic and social survey of Cuba. The commission has just returned from the Caribbean and is engaged in formulating its report.
He has lectured extensively throughout the country and has written for leading magazines.