Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

Philip Klutznick (1979–1981): Secretary of Commerce

Philip Klutznick was born in 1907 in Kansas City, Missouri, attending law school and working as an attorney for the city of Omaha, Nebraska. During World War II, he developed temporary housing for defense laborers.

After the war, Klutznick worked for American Community Builders in Chicago. Klutznick was the international president of B'nai B'rith (1953-1959), president of the World Jewish Congress (during the late 1970s), and chairman of the Public Affairs Committee of the United Jewish Fund.

Klutznick worked as envoy to the United Nations under Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Carter. Klutznick then became secretary of commerce in 1979, a position he held for the remainder of the Carter administration.