|31st United States Secretary of Commerce|
April 12, 1996 – January 21, 1997
|Preceded by||Ron Brown|
|Succeeded by||Bill Daley|
|11th United States Trade Representative|
January 22, 1993 – April 12, 1996
|Preceded by||Carla Hills|
|Succeeded by||Charlene Barshefsky|
|Born||August 7, 1939|
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
|Children||4 (1 deceased)|
|Education||Vanderbilt University (BA)|
Georgetown University (JD)
|Branch/service||United States Navy|
Early life and education
Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Kantor earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in business and economics from Vanderbilt University in 1961. He then served four years as a supply officer in the United States Navy and subsequently earned a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University in 1968.
Initially, Kantor worked for the Legal Services Corporation, providing legal assistance to migrant farm workers. From 1976 to 1993, he practiced law with the Los Angeles law firm of Manatt, Phelps, Phillips & Kantor (now Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP), and was active in Democratic politics and fundraising. He formerly served and is founder of the LA Conservation Corps.
An advocate of free trade, Kantor, as Trade Representative, led U.S. negotiations that created the World Trade Organization (WTO), such as the Uruguay Round, and North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Kantor also engaged in organizing the Miami Summit of the Americas and three meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, including the U.S.-hosted First Leaders' Meeting. With the European Commission of the newly formed European Union, he expanded the trans-Atlantic market.
Kantor practices law in the Los Angeles office of Mayer Brown, an international law firm based in Chicago. He is the board of directors co-chair of Vision to Learn and the University of Southern California Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy; a board officer of Drug Strategies; a leadership council member of the Sargent Shriver Center on Poverty Law; a steering committee member of Japan House; and a board member of Lexmark International, Inc. and the Pacific Council on International Policy.
Personal life and honors
Kantor has been married to broadcast journalist Heidi Schulman since 1982, following the death of his first wife, Valerie Woods Kantor in a 1978 plane crash in San Diego. He has three children. Another son, Russell, died in a single-car crash in October, 1988, while a senior in high school.
He formerly served on the board of directors of CBRE, board of visitors for Georgetown Law, and international advisory board for FleishmanHillard. Kantor was awarded the Order of the Southern Cross by the government of Brazil in 2001.
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- "Leadership". Pacific Council on International Policy. 2020-02-19.
- "In Memoriam." From The Classes. Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY. March, 1979. p. 30.
- "Son of Activist Kantor, 3 Others Killed in Crash". Los Angeles Times. 30 October 1988..
- "CBRE Group, Inc. - Leadership - Board of Directors". ir.cbre.com. Retrieved 2020-02-19.
- "Members of the Board of Visitors". www.law.georgetown.edu. Retrieved 2020-02-19.
- "International Advisory Board | FleishmanHillard". FleishmanHillard. Retrieved 2020-02-19.
- "Mickey Kantor" (PDF). Asia Society. September 12, 2012.