Martin Patrick Durkin

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Martin P. Durkin
The official portrait of Martin P. Durkin hangs in the Department of Labor
7th United States Secretary of Labor
In office
January 21, 1953 – September 10, 1953
President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Preceded by Maurice J. Tobin
Succeeded by James P. Mitchell
Personal details
Born (1894-03-18)March 18, 1894
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died November 13, 1955(1955-11-13) (aged 61)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Resting place St. Mary Catholic Cemetery, Evergreen Park, Illinois, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Anna McNicholas Durkin
Children Martin Patrick Durkin, Jr.
William Joseph Durkin
John Francis Durkin

Martin Patrick Durkin (March 18, 1894 – November 13, 1955) was a U.S. administrator. He served as Secretary of Labor from January 21, 1953 to September 10, 1953, where he was the "plumber" of President Dwight Eisenhower's "Nine Millionaires and a Plumber"[1] cabinet.


Durkin was born in Chicago, Illinois, on March 18, 1894, the son of James J. Durkin and Mary Catherine (née Higgins). At the age of 17, Durkin became involved in the plumber's and pipe fitter's union.[2] On August 29, 1921, Durkin married the former Anna H. McNicholas. They had three sons: Martin Patrick, Jr., William Joseph and John Francis Durkin. He eventually became president of that union, and then served as Director of Labor for the State of Illinois from 1933 to 1941. He worked closely with the President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins.

Durkin served as the Secretary of Labor during the Eisenhower administration. A Democrat among Republicans, he unsuccessfully pushed for his revisions in the Taft-Hartley Act. This led to his resignation after less than eight months in office, the shortest tenure of any Secretary of Labor.[2]

He died in Washington D.C., from complications of cancer surgery. He was interred in St. Mary Catholic Cemetery in Evergreen Park, Illinois.[3]

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Political offices
Preceded by
Maurice J. Tobin
U.S. Secretary of Labor
Served under: Dwight D. Eisenhower

January 21–September 10, 1953
Succeeded by
James P. Mitchell