Born in Chicago, he received a B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1938. In 1938 Macy moved to Washington, D.C. where he began his government service and studied atAmerican University. He worked as an intern at the National Institute of Public Affairs from 1938–1939 and later became an administrative aide of the Social Security Board(1939–1940).
From 1940 to 1942, he was a personnel specialist for the War Department in Washington and Chicago. From 1942 to 1943 he became the assistant director of civilian personnel.