William Henry Beveridge, 1st Baron Beveridge, was born on the 5th March 1879 – and died on the 16th March 1963. William Beveridge was a British economist and Liberal politician who was a noted progressive and social reformer.

He is best known for his 1942 report Social Insurance and Allied Services, known as the Beveridge Report which served as the basis for the post-World War II welfare state put in place by the Labour government elected in 1945. He was considered an authority on unemployment insurance from early in his career, served under Winston Churchill on the Board of Trade as Director of the newly created labour exchanges, and later as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Food. He was Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science from 1919 until 1937, when he was elected Master of University College, Oxford.

Beveridge published widely on unemployment and social security, his most notable works being: Unemployment: A Problem of Industry (1909), Planning Under Socialism (1936), Full Employment in a Free Society (1944), Pillars of Security (1943), Power and Influence (1953), and A Defence of Free Learning (1959). He was elected in a 1944 by-election as a Liberal Party MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed, and, following his defeat in the subsequent 1945 General Election, was elevated to the House of Lords where he served as the leader of the Liberal peers.