Gluckman, Henry

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GLUCKMAN, HENRY (1893–1987), South African physician and politician who was the only Jew to hold a cabinet post in the Union of South Africa. He represented a Johannesburg division in Parliament from 1938 until 1958, when he retired from politics to devote himself to industrial interests. Largely as a result of his work as chairman of the government's National Health Services Commission (1942–44), whose report influenced future health policy, the prime minister, General J.C. Smuts, in 1945 appointed him minister of health and housing. He held this position until 1948 when Smuts' government left office. Gluckman was chairman of the Central Health Services and Hospitals Coordinating Council (1943–45) and of the National Nutrition Council (1945–48). He was a regional vice president of the World Parliamentary Association. He served in the South African Medical Corps in both world wars and was president of the National War Memorial Health Foundation, and vice president of the Jewish Ex-Service League.

Gluckman was an executive member of the Jewish Board of Deputies and vice president of the Zionist Federation. Particularly interested in the Hebrew University, he was on its board of governors and was chairman and lifetime president of the South African Friends of the Hebrew University.

[Louis Hotz]