Skip to main content

Zimand, Savel

in: People

Savel Zimand (1891-1967 ) Journalist and Administrator of Health Services


Savel Zimand was born in Iasi, Romania, on May 14, 1891. After studying at the University of Berlin’s Seminar of Oriental Languages and the Höhere Webeschule from 1909 to 1912, he emigrated to the United States in 1913 and became a naturalized citizen in 1919.  On March 8, 1926 he married Gertrude Folks, the noted child welfare advocate and daughter of Homer Folks, who helped found the National Child Labor Committee.

After working as a mechanic and an instructor in foreign languages for three years, Zimand worked for the Department of Economics of the New York Public Library (1917-1919). He was also a research assistant for the War Labor Policies Board during World War I (1917-1919) and served on the board of directors of the Bureau of Industrial Research (1919-1920). While at the Bureau, he compiled an extensive bibliography of the labor movement, which was published in 1921 as Modern Social Movements .

From 1920 to 1924, Zimand traveled throughout Europe and Asia as a special correspondent for the New York Times , the New York Evening Post , the Survey , and the Globe and Commercial Advertiser . Included in his travels was a trip to postwar Russia in 1922, returning to the United States to do a series of articles on the New Economic Policy. Later, in 1926, under sponsorship of the Foreign Policy Association, he would write State Capitalism in Russia, an economic analysis based largely on official Russian sources. In 1924, he traveled to India and wrote numerous articles on Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian nationalist movement, and the Jaito Massacre. His writings on India would be published in a book, Living India , in 1928.

During the late 1920s, the subject matter for Zimand’s articles began to change as he moved into the health education field. In 1927, he authored a New York Times article on the declining death rate in New York City. However, for a time his chief interests remained international and he worked for the Economic Division of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (1927-1929).

From 1929 to 1934, Zimand served as an administrative assistant and then as administrative director of the Bellevue-Yorkville Health Demonstration, which was carried out in cooperation with the New York City Department of Health. In 1934, he joined the Department of Health and served in several positions before he became director of the Bureau of Health Education in 1943. In 1946, he became director of health education for the New York City Cancer Committee of the American Cancer Society. He held this position until his retirement in 1954, when he became a consultant on public health education.

SourceSavel Zimand Papers. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Social Welfare History Archives. Minneapolis, MN: https://www.lib.umn.edu/swha

Note: The Vassar College Library Archives Contains: Guide to the Gertrude Folks Zimand and Savel Zimand Papers: www.specialcollections.vassar.edu/findingaids/zimand.html

View graphic versionView graphic version