Nathan Straus, Jr. (May 27, 1889 in New York City – September 13, 1961 in Massapequa, Nassau County, New York) was an American journalist and politician from New York.


He was the son of Nathan Straus (1848–1931), co-owner of Macy's department store. He attended Princeton University, and Heidelberg University. He worked as a reporter for The New York Globe from 1909 to 1910; and was editor and publisher of Puck magazine from 1913 to 1917. During World War I he fought as an ensign with the United States Navy.

After the war, he became Assistant Editor of the New York Globe, but left in 1920 because of the paper's support for Republican presidential candidate Warren G. Harding. Instead, he entered politics as a Democrat, and was a member of the New York State Senate (15th D.) from 1921 to 1926, sitting in the 144th, 145th, 146th, 147th, 148th and 149th New York State Legislatures. He was Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture from 1923 to 1924.

He was a founding trustee of the Palestine Endowment Fund, Inc. (1922) along with Julian Mack and Stephen Samuel Wise [1]

He was New York State Administrator of the National Recovery Administration in 1934; a member of the New York City Housing Authority in 1936; and Administrator of the United States Housing Authority from 1937 to 1942. He published two books on housing issues: Seven Myths of Housing (1944), and Two-Thirds of a Nation – A Housing Program (1952).

Afterwards he was Chairman of the WMCA radio station until his death.

On September 13, 1961, he was found dead in a motel room in Massapequa, New York; and was buried at the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York.

His son R. Peter Straus (1917–2012) was Director of the Voice of America under President Jimmy Carter and the owner of radio station WMCA in New York City.[2] In 1998, he married Marcia Lewis, the mother of Monica Lewinsky.[2]

Congressman Isidor Straus (1845–1912) and US Secretary of Commerce and Labor Oscar Straus (1850–1926) were Nathan's uncles; New York Chief Judge Irving Lehman (1876–1945) was his brother-in-law; and Ambassador Jesse I. Straus (1872–1936) was his first cousin.

External links

New York State Senate
Preceded by
Abraham Kaplan
New York State Senate
15th District

Succeeded by
John L. Buckley