Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 23

Elliot (Lee) Richardson - Cabinet career

secretary massachusetts attorney

Lawyer and cabinet member, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He became Lieutenant-Governor of Massachusetts (1965–7) and state attorney general (1967–9), then served as Nixon's secretary of health, education, and welfare (1970–3), and briefly as secretary of defense (1973). He became US attorney general in 1973, but resigned in protest at the firing of Watergate prosecutor, Archibald Cox. Secretary of commerce (1976–7), he was the chief US negotiator for the international Law of the Sea (1978–80), before returning to private practice. He was the only man in US history to have held four different cabinet posts. In 1998 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Bill Clinton.

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