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Joseph A. Kershaw; Helped Plan WWII Rationing

Joseph A. Kershaw, 76, who helped plan the nation’s wartime rationing system and later served in President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty. Kershaw was working at the Office of Price Administration in the 1940s when he helped devise the system that rationed food items and gasoline during World War II. “He helped design the nuts and bolts of how the rationing system worked--the books and stamp process and how much each was worth,” said James Kolesar, a spokesman for Williams College, where Kershaw was an economist. During a later stint in Washington in 1965-66, Kershaw served as director of program planning and evaluation at the Office of Economic Opportunity, where he was responsible for measuring the effects of the War on Poverty. The poverty fight, under Director Sargent Shriver, was part of Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” program. From 1948 through 1962, Kershaw headed the economics department at RAND Corp., where he developed a research program on the Soviet economy. In Williamstown, Mass., on Sunday after what was described as a long illness.


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