- Associated Press - Sunday, March 6, 2016

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - About $165,000 in donations and pledges has been raised for a statue to memorialize John Gilbert Winant, a former governor of New Hampshire, an ambassador to England during World War II and the first head of the Social Security Administration.

The planned bronze statue of Winant with his coat over his arm and hat in hand invites passers-by to sit on a park bench and spend some time with him. It will be in front of the New Hampshire State Library in Concord.

About $100,000 still needs to be raised for the plaza that will surround the statue. It will include granite panels describing Winant’s accomplishments, a 1930s-style lamppost and landscaping.

Before he served as governor in the 1920s and 1930s, Winant was elected to both the New Hampshire House of Representatives and the state Senate.

He was a decorated pilot in World War I and led the International Labor Organization in the years leading up to World War II.

He was known to quietly give 50-cent pieces to homeless people in Concord during the Depression and implemented a minimum wage, public works projects and welfare aid.

As an ambassador, he would walk throughout London after bombings, personally assisting people on the streets of the capital

“It would have been easy for Winant to live a life of privilege, but he instead chose to be a wonderful public servant,” said Rep. Steve Shurtleff, chair of the Winant Memorial Committee.

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Online:

www.winantmemorial.org.

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