Lauro Cavazos

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Lauro F. Cavazos, Jr.
Official photograph of Cavazos
4th United States Secretary of Education
In office
September 20, 1988 – December 12, 1990
President Ronald Reagan
George H. W. Bush
Preceded by William Bennett
Succeeded by Lamar Alexander
Personal details
Born (1927-01-04) January 4, 1927 (age 87)
near Kingsville, Texas
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Peggy Ann Cavazos (née Murdock)
Alma mater Texas Tech University
Iowa State University
Profession Educator

Lauro Fred Cavazos Jr. (born January 4, 1927) is a U.S. educator and politician. He served as Secretary of Education, and was the first Hispanic to serve in the United States Cabinet.

A sixth-generation Texan, he was born on the King Ranch near Kingsville, Texas, where his father served as foreman of the showcase Santa Gertrudis Division. He was the son of Lauro F. Cavazos Sr. and Tomasa Quintanilla Cavazos. Through his maternal ancestry, he is a descendant of Texas Revolution heroine Francita Alavez, the "Angel of Goliad".

He earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in zoology from Texas Tech University, and a Ph.D. in physiology from Iowa State University. While in college, he was a member of Kappa Kappa Psi. Following a stint on the faculties of Tufts University and the Medical College of Virginia. From 1975 to 1980, he served as Dean of the Tufts University School of Medicine. From 1980 to 1988, he served as President of Texas Tech University. He was both the first alumnus and the first Hispanic to serve as Texas Tech President.

A Democrat, Cavazos served as Secretary of Education from August 1988 to December 1990 during the Republican Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations. He was forced to resign amid an investigation into improper use of frequent flyer miles in December 1990.

Following his resignation, he returned to the faculty of Tufts University where he is currently Professor of Public Health and Family Medicine. He is married to Peggy Ann Cavazos (née Murdock). They have ten children and currently reside in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the brother of U.S. Army General Richard E. Cavazos.


Political offices
Preceded by
William J. Bennett
U.S. Secretary of Education
Served under: Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush

1988 – 1990
Succeeded by
Lamar Alexander