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Frederick B. Dent

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Frederick B. Dent
5th United States Trade Representative
In office
March 26, 1975 – January 20, 1977
PresidentGerald Ford
Preceded byWilliam Denman Eberle
Succeeded byRobert S. Strauss
21st United States Secretary of Commerce
In office
February 2, 1973 – March 26, 1975
PresidentRichard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Preceded byPeter G. Peterson
Succeeded byRogers Morton
Personal details
Frederick Baily Dent

(1922-08-17)August 17, 1922
Cape May, New Jersey, U.S.
DiedDecember 10, 2019(2019-12-10) (aged 97)
Spartanburg, South Carolina, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Millie Carrington Harrison
(m. 1944; died 1997)
EducationYale University (BA)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Navy
Years of service1943–1946
Rank Lieutenant Junior Grade
Battles/warsWorld War II

Frederick Baily Dent (August 17, 1922 – December 10, 2019) was an American businessman who served as the United States Secretary of Commerce from February 2, 1973, to March 26, 1975, during the administrations of U.S. Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Gerald Ford[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Dent was born on August 17, 1922, in Cape May, New Jersey, to Edith (née Baily) and Magruder Dent. He was raised in Greenwich, Connecticut, and attended St. Paul's School[2][3] followed by Yale University, where he lettered in football. Dent was an officer in the Navy's ROTC program at Yale.


Dent served in the United States Navy from 1943 until 1946. In the Navy, Dent was the Lieutenant Junior Grade, where he captained the sub chaser USS PC 1547 and the patrol craft USS PCE(C) 873. He saw action in the Pacific where his patrol craft ferried troops to beachheads, including Okinawa, Japan, in the final stages of World War II. From 1958 until 1972 and 1977 until 1988, Dent was the president of Mayfair Mills in Arcadia, South Carolina.

He was appointed secretary of commerce by President Richard Nixon, serving from February 2, 1973, to March 26, 1975, and was President Gerald Ford's Trade Representative, from March 26, 1975, to January 20, 1977. Dent served as the United States trade representative from March 26, 1975, until January 20, 1977, during the remainder of President Ford's administration.[4]

He was inducted into the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame in 1994.

Personal life[edit]

On March 11, 1944, Dent married Mildred "Millie" Carrington Harrison. They had five children. He resided in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Dent died on December 10, 2019, at the age of 97.[5] He was the last surviving secretary of commerce during the Nixon and Ford administrations.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Frederick Baily Dent, 1922 - twenty-first Secretary of Commerce". NOAA Photo Library. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  2. ^ "Frederick B. Dent (1974–1975)". 4 October 2016. Archived from the original on 2019-12-17. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  3. ^ "Frederick B. Dent". NNDB. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  4. ^ Ford), United States President (1974-1977 (1975). Gerald R. Ford: Containing the Public Messages, Speeches, and Statements of the President. U.S. Government Printing Office.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ McFadden, Robert D. (16 December 2019). "Frederick B. Dent, Commerce Secretary Under Nixon, Dies at 97". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2019-12-17.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by United States Secretary of Commerce
Succeeded by
Preceded by United States Trade Representative
Succeeded by