Nicholas F. Brady

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Nicholas F. Brady
Official portrait of Brady as Secretary of the Treasury
68th United States Secretary of the Treasury
In office
September 15, 1988 – January 17, 1993
PresidentRonald Reagan
George H. W. Bush
Preceded byJames Baker
Succeeded byLloyd Bentsen
United States Senator
from New Jersey
In office
April 12, 1982 – December 27, 1982
Appointed byThomas Kean
Preceded byHarrison A. Williams
Succeeded byFrank Lautenberg
Personal details
Nicholas Frederick Brady

(1930-04-11) April 11, 1930 (age 94)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Kitty Douglas
(m. 1952; died 2021)
EducationYale University (BA)
Harvard University (MBA)

Nicholas Frederick Brady (born April 11, 1930) is an American politician from the state of New Jersey, who was the United States Secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, and is also known for articulating the Brady Plan in March 1989. In 1982, he was appointed to complete the unexpired term of Harrison A. Williams as a United States Senator following Williams' resignation. Brady is the last Republican to hold New Jersey's Class 1 Senate seat.

Early life[edit]

Brady was born in Manhattan, New York City, the son of James Cox Brady Jr., and his wife, Eliot Chace. He was named for his paternal great-uncle, businessman and philanthropist Nicholas Frederic Brady.[1] His great-grandfather was industrialist Anthony N. Brady.[2] He grew up on an estate in Far Hills, New Jersey.[3] After graduating from St. Mark's School in Southborough, Massachusetts, Brady attended Yale University (B.A., 1952), where he was a member of Chi Psi fraternity. He received his M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1954.[4]


Brady with President Ronald Reagan in 1988
Brady with President George H. W. Bush in 1992

Brady's political career began when he was appointed by Governor Thomas Kean as a Republican Senator from New Jersey to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Harrison A. Williams. He served from April 12, 1982, through December 27, 1982, and did not seek election to a full term. During his time in the Senate, he was a member of the Armed Services Committee and the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.

In 1984, Reagan appointed Brady to be Chairman of the President's Commission on Executive, Legislative and Judicial Salaries. He also served on the President's Commission on Strategic Forces (1983), the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America (1983), the Commission on Security and Economic Assistance (1983), and the Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management (1985). He also chaired the Presidential Task Force on Market Mechanisms in 1987.

Brady became the 68th Secretary of the Treasury on September 15, 1988, and served during the last four months of Reagan's presidency and throughout the Bush administration. In 1989, after a period of years in which a number of developing countries, including Mexico, defaulted on their international debt, he developed the Brady Plan to help them sell dollar-denominated bonds. These became known as Brady Bonds.

Early in his tenure as Treasury Secretary, The New York Times wrote that Brady had a rocky start and was "bland on television and awkward as a public speaker." But as a close friend and advisor to President Bush he had considerable influence. Chuck Schumer, a Democratic congressman at the time, expressed the prevailing view: "Is he the smartest guy in the world? No. Did he make some major screwups? Yes. But Brady is one of the few people in the Government trying to do real substance. On savings and loan, he stepped up to the plate and swung at balls. The same with the third world debt. I'm not sure I agree with his plan, but at least he tried to do something. So, in an Administration where so much seems aimed at image and hype, Brady does deserve a lot of credit."[5]

He is a former chairman of the board of Dillon Read & Co. Inc. (investment banking) (1970–1988) and a former Chairman of Purolator, Inc. (filtration products) (1971–1987).

Brady's career in the banking industry spanned 34 years. He joined Dillon, Read & Co. in New York City in 1954, rising to chairman of the board. He has been the Chairman of Darby Overseas Investments, Ltd. and Darby Technology Ventures Group, LLC, investment firms, since 1994. Mr. Brady is Chairman of Franklin Templeton Investment Funds (an international investment management company), a director of Hess Corporation (an exploration and production company) and Holowesko Partners Ltd. (investment management companies). He is also a director of the oilfield services company Weatherford International since 2004. He has been a director of the NCR Corporation, the MITRE Corporation, and the H.J. Heinz Company, among others. His father had been a major figure in Thoroughbred horse racing both in the United States and in Europe. Although never involved with the sport at the same level as his father, Nicholas Brady served for a time as chairman of The Jockey Club. Mill House (Stable) is the nom de course for Brady's racing operation.[6]

He has also served as a trustee of Rockefeller University and a member of the Board of the Economic Club of New York. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Inc and a former member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group.[7] He is a former trustee of the Boys' Club of Newark. Brady received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement in 1977.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Brady married Katherine Douglas (known as Kitty, daughter of Percy Livingston Douglas, president of the Otis Elevator Company) in 1952, and they had four children. Brady's wife died on January 6, 2021 at age 89.[9]


  1. ^ A Son to Mrs. James Cox Brady Jr.,; accessed March 29, 2015.
  2. ^ Sullivan, Joseph F. (April 13, 1982). "Quiet Senator From New Jersey". New York Times.
  3. ^ Quint, Michael. "The Financier 'Who Knows What Is Going On'", The New York Times, August 6, 1988; accessed November 27, 2007. "The great grandson of Anthony N. Brady, an Irish emigrant who was a friend and business associate of Thomas A. Edison, Nicholas Brady grew up on a large estate in Far Hills, N.J., that borders on the Dillon family estate."
  4. ^ "Nicholas F. Brady (1988–1989) | Miller Center". October 4, 2016. Retrieved February 3, 2024.
  5. ^ Rosenbaum, David (November 19, 1989). "The Treasury's 'Mr. Diffident'". New York Times. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
  6. ^ Woodbine Entertainment – Retrieved June 26, 2011 Archived June 20, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Former Steering Committee Members". Bilderberg Group. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  8. ^ "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". American Academy of Achievement.
  9. ^ "Obituary of Katherine Douglas Brady | Bailey Funeral Home - Peapack". Retrieved October 28, 2023.

External links[edit]

U.S. Senate
Preceded by U.S. senator (Class 1) from New Jersey
Served alongside: Bill Bradley
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by U.S. Secretary of the Treasury
Served under: Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush

Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Cabinet Member Order of precedence of the United States
as Former US Cabinet Member
Succeeded byas Former US Cabinet Member