David Lawrence Cole (1902 – February 25, 1978) was an American labor mediator who served as the second Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, appointed by President of the United States Harry S. Truman in 1952 to succeed Cyrus S. Ching.
Cole was one of the early pioneers in arbitrating labor disputes, working as the "third man" in negotiations involving the New York City Subway system, the steel industry and between different unions. Arbitrator Theodore W. Kheel called Cole "the world's greatest arbitrator". Cole described his role as helping parties deal with problems on their own and "to rely less and less on a third party". In addition to serving locally in labor negotiations and committees in the New York Tri-State Region and Pennsylvania, Cole served in the labor mediation field under every US President from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Richard Nixon.
Early life and education
Cole was born in 1902 in Paterson, New Jersey, where his father was a si