Lauro Cavazos

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Lauro Cavazos
4th United States Secretary of Education
In office
September 20, 1988 – December 12, 1990
President Ronald Reagan
George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Bill Bennett
Succeeded by Lamar Alexander
Personal details
Born Lauro Fred Cavazos
(1927-01-04) January 4, 1927 (age 91)
Kingsville, Texas, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Peggy Murdock
Children 10
Education Texas Tech University, Lubbock (BS, MS)
Iowa State University (PhD)

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 cattle division.[1] He was the son of Lauro F. Cavazos, Sr., and the former Tomasa Quintanilla. 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,[2] and a Ph.D. in physiology from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. 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 1975-80, he served as Dean of the Tufts University School of Medicine. From April 15, 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.[citation needed]

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 has served as Professor of Public Health and Family Medicine since then. He is married to the former Peggy Ann Murdock. The couple has ten children and currently reside in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the brother of U.S. Army General Richard E. Cavazos.[3]


  1. ^ "Texas Tech to install president April 15", Canadian Record, Canadian, Texas, February 14, 1980, p. 14
  2. ^ University, Texas Tech (1949). "La Ventana, vol. 024". 
  3. ^ "Bobby Cavazos, son of the King Ranch, Tech all-American, dies at 82". Retrieved 2016-08-21. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Bill Bennett
United States Secretary of Education
Succeeded by
Ted Sanders