Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

Roy D. Chapin (1932–1933): Secretary of Commerce

Roy Dikeman Chapin was born February 23, 1880, in Michigan. He worked in the automotive industry and, in 1912, became president of Hudson Motor Company.

Chapin toured European automotive facilities and, based on his research, developed the Hudson, Essex, and Rambler automobiles. His innovations encouraged the production of more consumer-oriented automobiles with a focus on style and powerful and efficient engines.

On August 8, 1932, President Herbert Hoover appointed Chapin to succeed Robert Lamont as secretary of commerce. Chapin served in that capacity until the end of Hoover’s term in 1933. Chapin returned to the automobile industry following his time in the cabinet. He died on February 16, 1936.