Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

Frederick H. Mueller (1959–1961): Secretary of Commerce

Frederick Mueller was secretary of commerce under President Eisenhower from August 6, 1959, until January 20, 1961. Mueller graduated from Michigan State University with a B.S. in mechanical engineering in 1914.

He became a partner in his father's furniture manufacturing company that year, general manager in 1923, and president of the company after his father's retirement. Active in Republican politics and an important factory owner, Mueller was appointed assistant secretary of commerce for domestic affairs on November 22, 1958.

He replaced Lewis Strauss first as undersecretary of commerce in November 1958, then again, upon Strauss's failed confirmation, as secretary of commerce -- being confirmed on June 18, 1959 -- a position he held until the end of the administration. Following his work with the Eisenhower administration, Mueller returned to business and then retired in Grand Rapids, Michigan.