Obituaries Australia

  • Tip: searches only the name field
  • Tip: use double quotes to search for a phrase
  • Tip: lists of awards, schools, organisations etc

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Persia Gwendoline Campbell (1898–1974)

Dr. Persia Campbell, a director of the Consumers Union and emeritus professor of economics at Queens College, died yesterday in Booth Memorial Hospital, Flushing, Queens, following a stroke suffered last Sunday. She was 75 years old and lived at 137‐27 Geranium Avenue, Flushing.

Dr. Campbell had made consumer protection her chief professional concern since the nineteen‐thirties, when she became executive secretary of the Consumers National Federation and chairman of consumer activities in New York for the American Association of University Women. She was later a consumer‐affairs adviser to city, state and Federal governments.

Dr. Campbell served on President Kennedy's Consumer Advisory Council in 1962, President Johnson's Committee on Consumer Affairs in 1963 and the National Advisory Committee of the President's Representative on International Trade in 1964.

In 1954, while professor of economics at Queens College, she was named by Gov. Averell Harriman of New York to the newly created cabinet‐rank post of Consumer Counsel to the Governor.

Much of her work during her four‐year term was in encouraging legislation in such areas as protection against “bait advertising” and fraud in radio and television repair services. The state's first law on general installment buying, enacted in 1957, was considered her achievement.

Dr. Campbell also served as a special consultant to the Attorney General of Massachusetts, and, in 1959, to the Governor of California. She had been chairman of the National Conference on the Food and Agriculture Organization and an adviser to the United States interagency committee on the F.A.O. During World War II she had been a member of the consumers advisory committee of the President's Council of Economic Advisers.

She was often called to give expert testimony at Federal hearings. In 1961 she testified before a Senate judiciary subcommittee that reducing the contents of a package without raising the price had brought a form of invisible inflation. She called raising the price a fairer method because “the consumers know better where they are.”

Dr. Campbell had written extensively over the years on consumer economics. Her first book “Consumer Representation in the New Deal,” was published in 1940 by Columbia University Press. Her other work included booklets on “Bringing the Consumer Point of View into Government,” distributed by the National Counsel on Consumer Information; “How Much Legal Protection Does New York State Give Consumers?”, and “Consumer Laws in Action.” Among her later publications were “The Consumer Interest” (1949) and “Mary Williamson Harriman: A Biography” (1960).

One of her last major appearances was at the 1970 conference of the International Organization of Consumers Unions in Baden, Austria. She spoke there of the fears in some countries that the added costs of anti‐pollution measures would impede industrial development.

Dr. Campbell was born in Australia on March 15, 1898. She received bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Sydney. In 1921 she won a traveling fellowship to the London School of Economics which granted her a master's degree in economics in 1923.

She became an associate editor of the Australian Encyclopedia and then a research economist with the government of New South Wales before winning a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship to the United States in 1930. She received a Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1940.

Dr. Campbell, an American citizen since 1936, joined the Queens College faculty in 1940 and was made a full professor and acting chairman of the department of social sciences in 1960.

She was the widow of Edward Rice. Surviving are a son, Edward; a daughter, Mrs. Sydney Katz Nelson, two grandchildren and three stepdaughters, Mrs. Joan Faulkner, Mrs. Nora Barden and Mrs. Elizabeth Kultgen.

A memorial service will be held at Queens College on Saturday, March 23, at 2 P.M.

Original publication

Additional Resources

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Campbell, Persia Gwendoline (1898–1974)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 July 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024