Secretary Elliot Richardson

Elliot Richardson

U.S. secretary of health, education and welfare

Elliot Richardson was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard College with a bachelor's degree in 1941. After serving in the Army during World War II, he continued his education, receiving an LL.B. degree from Harvard Law School in 1947. From 1947 to 1949, Mr. Richardson clerked for Judge Learned Hand of the U.S. Court of Appeals, and for Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter. Late in 1949 he became an associate with a private law firm in Boston, where practiced until 1957, when President Eisenhower appointed him Assistant Secretary for Legislation for the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. In 1959, President Eisenhower appointed Elliot Richardson as United States Attorney General for Massachusetts. In 1964 he was elected Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, and two years later was elected that State's Attorney General. Mr. Richardson was sworn in as Under Secretary of State by President Richard Nixon in 1969; and then in 1970 President Nixon appointed him Secretary for the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare 1970, a position he held until 1973.

Among his many talents, Elliot Richardson is an artist who produces fine watercolor illustrations and who is renowned for habit of doodling during meetings. This 3x5 index card was one he doodled on during a cabinet meeting on education at the White House while he was Secretary of HEW.

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Secretary Elliot Richardson
Landon Lecture
Jan. 24, 1972