Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

Maurice H. Stans (1969–1972): Secretary of Commerce

Maurice H. Stans was born in Shakopee, Minnesota, on March 22, 1908. He attended night school at Northwestern University (1925-1928) and at Columbia University (1928-1930) but failed to complete degree requirements. Nevertheless, he was later certified as a CPA in New York and Ohio (1931).

Stans worked with Alexander Grant and Company (1928-1955), where he eventually became an executive partner. His career in public office began with a stint in the Eisenhower administration as deputy postmaster general (1955). Stans then served as deputy director and director of the Bureau of the Budget from 1958 to 1961.

Following his time in government, Stans held several positions in the banking. He was president and director of Western Bancorporation in Los Angeles, vice chairman and a director of the United California Bank (1961-1962), and president of the investment banking firm Gore Forgan, William R. Staats, Inc.

Stans went to work for Richard Nixon as chairman of the "Nixon for President" committee in 1968. President Nixon then appointed Stans secretary of commerce, a position Stans held from 1969 to 1972. Stans left that post to become head of finance for the Committee to Re-elect the President in 1972. He was indicted on criminal charges in connection with the Watergate scandal but was later acquitted.

Stans would later become a fund-raiser for the Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, California. He died on April 14, 1998.