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Michael Pertschuk (born January 12, 1933) is a consumer and public health advocate and former government official. He served as chief counsel and staff director to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation from 1965 to 1976 and was instrumental in drafting the landmark legislation requiring cigarette warning labels and banning broadcast advertising of tobacco products. He also helped pass auto and product safety laws and the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act.
As chairman of the Federal Trade Commission from 1977 to 1981 and a commissioner until 1984, he worked to strengthen the FTC's consumer protection powers. He is also co-founder and co-director of the Advocacy Institute. He founded the Smoking Control Advocacy Resource Center, which as part of the Advocacy Institute (see above) provided guides, training, strategic counseling, and other resources to combat the tobacco industry. On May 1, 2013, he received the Champion Award from the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids for his five decades of leadership in the fight against tobacco.
Life and education
- 1954 B.A., Yale University, New Haven, Conn.
- 1954 Manuscript Society, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.
- 1954-1956 First lieutenant, artillery, United States Army
- 1957 Assistant in instruction, Yale Law School, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.
- 1959 LL.D., J.D., Yale Law School
- 1959 Admitted to Oregon bar
He married, Carleen Joyce Dooley in 1954; they divorced in 1976. He married Anna Sofaer in 1977.
- 1959-1960 Law clerk for United States District Court Judge Gus J. Solomon, Portland, Oreg.
- 1960-1962 Associate in law firm, Hart, Rockwood, Davies, Biggs & Strayer, Portland, Oreg.
- 1962-1964 Legislative assistant, Senator Maurine B. Neuberger of Oregon
Senate Commerce Committee
- 1964-1968 Consumer counsel, Senate Commerce Committee
- 1968-1977 Chief counsel, staff director, Senate Commerce Committee
Federal Trade Commission
- 1977-1981 Chairman, Federal Trade Commission
- 1981-1984 Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission
- 1982 Published Revolt Against Regulation: The Rise and Pause of the Consumer Movement. Berkeley: University of California Press
- 1984- Codirector, Advocacy Institute, Washington, D.C. (now director emeritus)
- 1984-1985 Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C.
He is the author of Revolt against Regulation: The Rise and Pause of the Consumer Movement; Giant Killers (1986); Smoke in Their Eyes: Lessons in Movement Leadership from the Tobacco Wars (2001); with Wendy Schaetzel, The People Rising: The Campaign Against the Bork Nomination (1989); and The DeMarco Factor: Transforming Public Will into Political Power (2010).
He is the author of four of the tobacco control movement’s most influential guides, and he was instrumental in developing GLOBALink, the primary communication tool for the international tobacco control movement.
The papers of Michael Pertschuk are available at the United States Library of Congress. They span the years 1949-2002, with the majority of the papers concentrated from 1977 through 2001. They focus on Pertschuk's work in the arena of consumer protection and consist of two parts processed at different times. Part I relates primarily to Pertschuk's career in the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Part II focuses primarily on his writing projects and his work in the field of public interest lobbying and as a tobacco control advocate in the years following his departure from the FTC. The file includes correspondence with Jack Anderson, Patricia P. Bailey, David Brinkley, Jimmy Carter, David Cohen, John D. Dingell, James Florio, Lewis H. Goldfarb, David Horowitz, George W. Koch, Warren G. Magnuson, Colman McCarthy, James C. Miller III, Walter Mondale, Edmund S. Muskie, Ralph Nader, Victor S. Navasky, Esther Peterson, Robert Pitofsky, Alan A. Ransom, Ronald Reagan, David A. Rice, Warren B. Rudman, Alan K. Simpson, Philip M. Stern , Robert S. Strauss, Jack Watson, and Caspar W. Weinberger.
- , Michael Pertschuk Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.;  John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters, The American Presidency Project, Santa Barbara, California.
-  Career Service Award 2003, American Cancer Society