As a war-period president, David B. Simpson's* first administrative action was to set up an Association office in Washington, followed closely by the organization of the REALTORS®' Washington Committee for War Emergency Service.
A veteran of World War I, in which he was a captain in the 59th Infantry, 4th Division, overseas, and in the Army of the Occupation, Mr. Simpson resigned his commission in 1923 and worked in the real estate business on the Pacific Coast. He was vice president and secretary of the firm of Norris, Beggs, and Simpson of Portland, San Francisco and Seattle. He lived on a 635-acre farm 40 miles outside of Portland.
Mr. Simpson brought to the national presidency a wide background in Association work. He served for three years as its vice president for the Northwest Region, two terms as president of the Portland Realty Board, and two terms as president of the Oregon Association of Real Estate Boards. He was the 1943 president of Portland's Chamber of Commerce.
Under Mr. Simpson's presidency, the Association centered its whole program on helping the war effort. Its strong feeling of unity was strengthened by visits and talks to member boards and state associations. The Association, through its REALTORS®' Washington Committee, led a year-long and successful fight for the belief that private enterprise home building should continue to produce all permanent housing needed for the war. It secured important modifications in federal rent control regulations for residential properties and killed a bill that would have unnecessarily imposed federal control of commercial rents. the committee successfully opposed a measure that would have prohibited payment of commissions on the sale of real estate to the federal government. It took an active part in bringing about utilization of existing industrial plants for war production; helped in appraisal and land accumulation work of the Army and Navy; actively aided government in decentralization of federal bureaus and worked to safeguard real estate ownership and sound city development for the postwar period. Under Mr. Simpson there was established a workable agreement between the National Association of Real Estate Boards and the American Bar Association.
Source: Presidents of the National Association of REALTORS®, (Chicago: NAR, 1980).