Peter George Peterson

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This article is about the Pete Peterson who was a U.S. government official during the Nixon administration; there is also a Pete Peterson who was a former Florida Congressman and ambassador to Vietnam.
Image:PeterGeorgePeterson.jpg
Peterson's official portrait as Commerce Secretary

Peter George Peterson (born June 5, 1926) is an American businessman, investment banker, fiscal conservative, author, and politician whose most prominent political position was as United States Secretary of Commerce from February 29, 1972 to February 1, 1973. He is Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Senior Chairman of the private equity firm, the Blackstone Group.

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[edit] Biography

A prominent Greek American, he was born in Kearney, Nebraska to Greek immigrant parents and is married to Joan Ganz Cooney.

Born Peterson received an undergraduate business degree from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University, graduating in 1947, summa cum laude. He joined Market Facts, a Chicago-based market research firm, in 1948<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>. In 1951, he received an MBA degree from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, before returning to Market facts as an executive vice president.

He joined advertising agency McCann Erickson in 1953, again in Chicago, where he served as a director. He was Chairman and CEO of Bell and Howell Corporation from 1963 to 1971 and has been a director of a number of other corporations.

In 1969, Peterson was invited by philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, CFR Chairman John J. McCloy, and former Treasury Secretary Douglas Dillon to chair a Commission on Foundations and Private Philanthropy, which became known as the Peterson Commission. Among its recommendations adopted by the government were that foundations be required annually to disburse a minimum proportion of their funds.

In 1971, Peter Peterson was named Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs by U.S. President Richard Nixon. In 1972, he was named the Secretary of Commerce, a position he held for one year. At that time he also assumed the Chairmanship of President Nixon’s National Commission on Productivity and was appointed U.S. Chairman of the U.S.–Soviet Commercial Commission.

Peterson was Chairman and CEO of Lehman Brothers (1973–1977) and Lehman Brothers, Kuhn, Loeb Inc. (1977–1984). In 1985, he co-founded the prominent private equity and investment management firm, the Blackstone Group, for which his current position is Senior Chairman.

Image:PeterGeorgePetersonSwearingInWoman.jpg
Peterson swearing in first woman officer of the NOAA.

In 1992 he was one of the co-founders of the Concord Coalition, a bipartisan citizens' group that advocates reduction of the federal budget deficit. Following record deficits under President George W. Bush, Peterson commented in 2004: "I remain a Republican, but the Republicans have become a far more theological, faith-directed party, not troubling with evidence."<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

In February 1994, President Bill Clinton named Peterson as a member of the Bi-Partisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform co-chaired by Senators Bob Kerrey and John Danforth.

Peterson also serves as Co-Chair of The Conference Board Commission on Public Trust and Private Enterprises (Co-Chaired by John Snow).

Peterson is currently Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, commencing from 1985 when he took over from David Rockefeller. He also serves as Trustee of the Rockefeller family's Japan Society and the Museum of Modern Art, and was previously on the board of Rockefeller Center Properties, Inc..

He is founding Chairman of the Peterson Institute (formerly the Institute for International Economics), renamed in his honour in 2006, and a Trustee of the Committee for Economic Development. He was also Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York between 2000 and 2004.


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Preceded by:
Maurice Stans
United States Secretary of Commerce
February 29, 1972February 1, 1973
Succeeded by:
Frederick B. Dent
United States Secretaries of Commerce Image:US-DeptOfCommerce-Seal.png
Secretaries of Commerce & Labor (19031913): Cortelyou | Metcalf | Straus | Nagel<center>
Secretaries of Commerce (1913—): Redfield | Alexander | Hoover | Whiting | Lamont | Chapin | Roper | Hopkins | Jones | Wallace | Harriman | Sawyer | Weeks | Strauss | Mueller | Hodges | Connor | Trowbridge | Smith | Stans | Peterson | Dent | Morton | Richardson | Kreps | Klutznick | Baldrige | Verity | Mosbacher | Franklin | Brown | Kantor | Daley | Mineta | Evans | Gutierrez
</center>

Peter George Peterson

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