Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

W. Michael Blumenthal (1977–1979): Secretary of the Treasury

Werner Michael Blumenthal was born in Berlin, Germany, on January 3, 1926. His family fled Nazi Germany in 1939 and moved to the United States in 1947. Blumenthal received a B.S. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1951, and then went on to earn an M.P.A. in public affairs, an M.A. in economics, and a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University. He taught economics at Princeton from 1954 to 1957.

Leaving academia, Blumenthal worked as vice president and director of the Crown Cork International Corporation (1957-1961) and then served President John F. Kennedy as deputy assistant secretary of state for economic affairs (1961-1963). He then became deputy special representative for trade negotiations (1963-1967), following which he went to work for Bendix, becoming its president, chairman, and chief executive officer.

In 1977, Blumenthal became secretary of the treasury under President Jimmy Carter, serving in that capacity until August 4, 1979.