SSA Commissioners

Arthur E. Hess

Art Hess

March 8, 1973 to October 23, 1973

Art Hess began his SSA career in 1939 as a field assistant in the Wilkes-Barre, Pa. field office. He served as a District Manager in field offices in Pennsylvannia and New Jersey before coming to SSA headquarters in the 1940s. In the late 1940s Hess headed up SSA's disability research operation, in anticipation of the eventual passage of disability benefits. In 1954 Hess became the Director of the Division of Disability Operations, at the very start of the Social Security disability program. In 1965 Hess became the first Director of the Bureau of Health Insurance--the first executive in charge of the new Medicare program. In 1967 Hess rose to become SSA's Deputy Commissoner. In March 1973, following the resignation of Bob Ball, Hess was elevated to the position of Acting Commissioner.