Viewing William Hodson (1891-1943).
An honors graduate of the University of Minnesota in 1913, William W. Hodson took his law degree at Harvard and was admitted to the Minnesota bar on March 30, 1917. But he did not practice law, instead he dedicated his life to public service. He served as counsel to the Minneapolis Legal Aid Society, director of the Minnesota Children's Bureau and in 1922 director of the child welfare division of the Russell Sage Foundation in New York City. Three years later he was appointed Director of the Welfare Council of New York City, then Commissioner of Public Welfare in 1934. During the Great Depression he administered millions to the needy in the city with dispatch and efficiency. In January 1943, while on a mission to North Africa, he was killed in an airplane crash. He was fifty-one years old. On February 27, 1943, a memorial was delivered for him at proceedings of the Hennepin County Bar Associaiton. In a memorial service in New York, a colleague recalled that he had "lived the life of a crusader and died a crusader's death."