David Niles was born in Boston in 1888 (some sources say 1890 or 1892). Niles worked as Associate Director and later Director of Boston's Ford Hall Forum. He came to Washington, DC, as an aide to George W. Coleman, an official in the Labor Dept. He took part in La Follette’s 1924 presidential campaign on the Progressive Party ticket. In later years, David Niles was active in the Democratic Party and worked on the Smith (1928) and Roosevelt (1932) campaigns. In the latter half of the 1930s, Niles worked as the Director of Information and Assistant Adminstrator for the Works Progress Administration (1936-39). He also worked within the Department of Commerce, culminating in his role as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Commerce, 1939-1940. In the early part of World War II, Niles advised the War Production Board. Then, in 1942, Niles became Special Assistant to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and remained in this post when Harry Truman took office in 1945. Niles left his Truman administration post on May 31, 1951, and died just over a year later, on September 28, 1952.