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            Secretaries of Commerce

            The following is a listing of former Secretaries of Commerce:

            First Secretary of Commerce

            The first Secretary of Commerce, William C. Redfield, was an iron and steel executive and author of a book, The New Industrial Day. The first Secretary of Commerce and Labor was George B. Cortelyou.

            Length of Service

            The longest-serving Secretary of Commerce was Herbert C. Hoover, a mining engineer who directed projects in Australia and for the Chinese before his public service career, which culminated in his election as President of the United States. Hoover served almost seven and one-half years. The Department of Commerce headquarters building is named in his honor.

            Both William C. Redfield and Malcolm Baldrige served for more than six years.

            Eight Secretaries served less than a year.

            Two Secretaries died while in office: Malcolm Baldrige and Ronald H. Brown.

            Women Secretaries

            Juanita Kreps, the first woman and the only economist to serve as Secretary, was vice president of Duke University and a labor demographics specialist.

            Barbara Franklin was the second woman to serve as Secretary. She was among the first women to graduate from Harvard Business School and served in the administrations of four U.S. presidents. In 1971, she directed the first White House program to recruit women for high-level government jobs.

            Penny Pritzker was the third woman to serve as Secretary. Before Secretary Pritzker’s term in government service, she helped found multiple businesses including PSP Capital and the Pritzker Realty Group.

            African-American Secretary

            Ronald Brown was the first African American to serve as Secretary. A lawyer, a negotiator, a pragmatic bridge builder and a past Chairperson of the Democratic National Committee, Brown, unlike many of his predecessors, did not come out of the business community directly.

            Brown died in a plane crash while on a trade mission to Croatia and Bosnia on April 3, 1996.

            Asian-American Secretaries

            Norman Mineta was the first Asian-American Secretary (July 21, 2000-Jan. 19, 2001). Secretary Gary Locke later followed as the second. He resigned August 1, 2011, when he was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to the People's Republic of China.

            Other Offices Held

            Henry Wallace served as Vice President of the United States before his appointment as Secretary of Commerce. Three secretaries served in the U.S. Congress. Sinclair Weeks served in the U.S. Senate, and Joshua Alexander served seven terms and Rogers C. B. Morton four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.

            Four others held top state offices. Luther Hodges was elected governor and lieutenant governor of North Carolina. Charles Sawyer was lieutenant governor of Ohio and Elliot Richardson served as lieutenant governor of Massachusetts. Gary Locke was a two-term governor of the state of Washington, 1997-2005.

            Richardson, an attorney, was Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Secretary of Defense, Attorney General and a U.S. Ambassador before becoming Secretary of Commerce.

            W. Averell Harriman and Mickey Kantor also held diplomatic posts before becoming Secretaries of Commerce. Harriman served as U.S. Ambassador to the U.S.S.R. and to Great Britain. Kantor served as the U.S. Trade Representative.

            Daniel Roper's 50-year career of government service included positions with the U.S. Tariff Commission, and as Commissioner of Internal Revenue. He also worked for the Census Bureau, which was part of the Department of Commerce when he became Secretary.

            Youngest and Oldest Appointees

            The youngest person to be named Secretary was 38-year-old Alexander Trowbridge, an oil company executive who joined the Department as an assistant secretary.

            The oldest to be appointed was Philip Klutznick, 79, who had over 55 years of investment banking and private equity experience.

            Education

            Most Secretaries were college graduates, many with degrees from Ivy League universities; but Jesse Jones, the Secretary who directed the Commerce Department's responses to war needs between 1940-1945, received his formal education at a rural schoolhouse in Kentucky.

            Secretaries of Commerce and the Years They Served

            Wilbur L. Ross, Jr.
            February 28, 2017 – Present

            Penny S. Pritzker
            June 26, 2013 – January 20, 2017

            John E. Bryson
            October 21, 2011- June 21, 2012

            Gary F. Locke
            March 26, 2009 - August 1, 2011

            Carlos M. Gutierrez
            February 7, 2005 - January 19, 2009

            Donald L. Evans
            January 20, 2001 - February 3, 2005

            Norman A. Mineta
            July 21, 2000 - January 19, 2001

            William M. Daley
            January 30, 1997 - July 19, 2000

            Mickey Kantor
            April 12, 1996 - January 21, 1997

            Ronald H. Brown
            January 22, 1993 - April 3, 1996

            Barbara H. Franklin
            February 27, 1992 - January 20, 1993

            Robert A. Mosbacher
            January 31, 1989 - January 15, 1992

            C. William Verity
            October 19, 1987 - January 30, 1989

            Malcolm Baldrige
            January 20, 1981 - July 25, 1987

            Philip M. Klutznick
            January 9, 1980 - January 19, 1981

            Juanita M. Kreps
            January 23, 1977 - October 31, 1979

            Elliot L. Richardson
            February 2, 1976 - January 20, 1977

            Rogers C. B. Morton
            May 1, 1975 - February 2, 1976

            Frederick B. Dent
            February 2, 1973 - March 26, 1975

            Peter G. Peterson
            February 29, 1972 - February 1, 1973

            Maurice H. Stans
            January 21, 1969 - February 15, 1972

            C. R. Smith
            March 6, 1968 - January 19, 1969

            Alexander B. Trowbridge
            June 14, 1967 - March 1, 1968

            John T. Connor
            January 18, 1965 - January 31, 1967

            Luther H. Hodges
            January 21, 1961 - January 15, 1965

            Frederick H. Mueller
            August 10, 1959 - January 19, 1961

            Lewis L. Strauss (Interim appointee)
            November 13, 1958 - June 30, 1959

            Sinclair Weeks
            January 21, 1953 - November 10, 1958

            Charles Sawyer
            May 6, 1948 - January 20, 1953

            W. Averell Harriman
            October 7, 1946 - April 22, 1948

            Henry A. Wallace
            March 2, 1945 - September 20, 1946

            Jesse H. Jones
            September 19, 1940 - March 1, 1945

            Harry L. Hopkins
            December 24, 1938 - September 18, 1940

            Daniel C. Roper
            March 4, 1933 - December 23, 1938

            Roy D. Chapin
            August 8, 1932 - March 3, 1933

            Robert P. Lamont
            March 5, 1929 - August 7, 1932

            William F. Whiting
            August 22, 1928 - March 4, 1929

            Herbert C. Hoover
            March 5, 1921 - August 21, 1928

            Joshua W. Alexander
            December 16, 1919 - March 4, 1921

            William C. Redfield
            March 5, 1913 - October 31, 1919

            Secretaries of Commerce and Labor

            Charles Nagel
            March 6, 1909 - March 4, 1913

            Oscar S. Straus
            December 17, 1906 - March 5, 1909

            Victor H. Metcalf
            July 1, 1904 - December 16, 1906

            George B. Cortelyou
            February 18, 1903 - June 30, 1904

            Bureaus and Offices
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