Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

Peter G. Peterson (1972–1973): Secretary of Commerce

Peter G. Peterson was born June 5, 1926. He received a B.S. summa cum laude from Northwestern University (1947) and a master's in business administration, with honors, from the University of Chicago (1951). Peterson was elected president of Bell and Howell in 1961.

During the Nixon administration, he was assistant to the President for international economic affairs (1971-1972) and secretary of commerce (1972). Folliwng his time in Washington, Peterson became chairman and CEO of Lehman Brothers (1973-1977), chairman and CEO of Lehman Brothers, Kuhn, Loeb Inc. (1977-1984), a director of Transtar Inc. and Sony Corporation, and chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In 1985, he cofounded The Blackstone Group, an investment banking firm, and became its chairman.

In 1992, Peterson became the founding president of the Concord Coalition. Two years later, in 1994, President William J. Clinton appointed Peterson to the Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform.