John C. Whitehead

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
John C. Whitehead
9th U.S. Deputy Secretary of State
In office
President Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Kenneth W. Dam
Succeeded by Lawrence S. Eagleburger
Personal details
Born John Cunningham Whitehead
(1922-04-02) April 2, 1922 (age 92)
Evanston, Illinois
Nationality United States
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Cynthia Matthews Whitehead
Alma mater Haverford College
Harvard Business School
Occupation Investment banker
Political appointee

John Cunningham Whitehead (born April 2, 1922) is an American banker and civil servant, currently a board member of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation (WTC Memorial Foundation) and, until his resignation in May 2006, chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Whitehead was born in Evanston, Illinois. His family moved to Montclair, New Jersey when he was two years old.[2]

Whitehead graduated from Haverford College in 1943 and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, where he commanded one of the LCVP landing crafts at Omaha Beach, in the D-Day landing invasion of Normandy.[3][4]

In 1947 he received an MBA degree from Harvard Business School[2] and subsequently joined the prestigious New York investment bank of Goldman Sachs. He rose to become chairman over a total of 38 years at the firm, and retired in 1984 as Co-Chairman and Co-Senior Partner.

He served as United States Deputy Secretary of State in Ronald Reagan's administration from 1985 to 1989 under George Shultz, and was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Reagan. In 1996, he was the campaign chairman for Michael Benjamin who ran for a seat in New York's 8th congressional district.

He is former Chairman of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the United Nations Association, and a former Chairman of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Harvard Board of Overseers. He is a former director of the New York Stock Exchange and Chairman Emeritus of The Brookings Institution.

He has a long association with the Rockefeller family, having held positions at various times with family-created institutions such as Rockefeller University, the Asia Society (where he is Chairman Emeritus and Honorary Life Trustee), the Lincoln Center Theater and the WTC Memorial Foundation. In these organisations, and previously when he was for a time on the family's powerful Trust Committee, overseeing the family fortune and investments of the Rockefeller Group[citation needed], the real estate firm that previously owned and managed Rockefeller Center, he became closely associated with David Rockefeller.

As an alumnus of Haverford College in Pennsylvania, he has had the campus center and the chair of the philosophy department named after him. The School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University was also named after him. He received an honorary LL.D. from Bates College in 2004, and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from The City University of New York upon the recommendation of Macaulay Honors College in 2009.

He also serves on the board of the International Rescue Committee, an international human rights organization. In 1987, he was awarded the IRC's Freedom Award, along with Elie Wiesel.[5] Other recipients of the award have included Winston Churchill, Hubert Humphrey, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, John McCain, Lech Wałęsa, Hamid Karzai, Madeleine Albright, and Václav Havel. Whitehead is an Eagle Scout and recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. Mr. Whitehead is longstanding Co-Chairman of the Board of the Greater New York Councils, Boy Scouts of America. He has been Chairman of the Financial Services Volunteer Corps (FSVC) since July, 2005. He is also an Advisory Board member for the Partnership for a Secure America, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to recreating the bipartisan center in American national security and foreign policy. Moreover, Whitehead sits on the Advisory Board of the Washington-based think-tank Global Financial Integrity, which conducts research on illicit financial flows and the damaging effects they have on developing countries, as well as the advisory board for DC-based nonprofit America Abroad Media.[6] He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Eisenhower Fellowships.

John Whitehead is Co-Chairman of AMDeC Foundation, a 28-member organization of leaders in biomedical research and technology in New York State. Mr. Whitehead, along with AMDeC President, Dr. Maria K. Mitchell, secures funding and infrastructure support for next-generation research for New York's renowned academic medical centers.

Whitehead married television newswoman Nancy Dickerson in 1989. She died in 1997. Her son, John Dickerson, the writer, is one of his stepchildren. In 2003, Mr. Whitehead dedicated the Nancy Dickerson Whitehead Community Service Center for Homeless Youth in Southeast Washington, D.C. with a generous gift to Covenant House.

In 2005, Whitehead published a memoir A Life In Leadership: From D-Day to Ground Zero.[3]

In 2006, Whitehead was one of the most notable Republican donors to the campaign of Joseph Lieberman in his independent re-election campaign for the U.S. Senate.[7]

On November 12, 2008, Whitehead said at the Reuters Global Finance Summit that the United States economy faces an economic slump deeper than the Great Depression and that a growing deficit threatens the credit of the country.[8] In 2011, John C. Whitehead was awarded the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom.[9]

In 2012, Whitehead was awarded the Freedom Prize for the second time.[10]

He is a former member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group.[11]

Select publications[edit]


  1. ^ "Whitehead Resigns as LMDC Chairman" @ LMDC - Lower - May 11, 2006
  2. ^ a b "John Whitehead" interview @ Harvard Business School (Adobe Acrobat *.PDF document)
  3. ^ a b A Life In Leadership @ Basic Books
  4. ^ "A Day at the Beach" @ OpinionJournal - July 4, 2008
  5. ^ The IRC Freedom Award
  6. ^
  7. ^ Lightman, David (March 19, 2007). "GOP Gave Joe A Boost". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 2007-03-19. 
  8. ^ Whitehead Sees Slump Worse Than Depression @ Reuters
  9. ^
  10. ^ Anderson, Monika (2012-11-08). "Kissinger, Bloomberg Honor IRC at Freedom Award Dinner". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  11. ^ "Former Steering Committee Members". Bilderberg Group. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Kenneth W. Dam
United States Deputy Secretary of State
Succeeded by
Lawrence Eagleburger
Business positions
Preceded by
Gus Levy
Chairman and CEO, Goldman Sachs
Succeeded by
John Weinberg