Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

Frank Carlucci (1987–1989): Secretary of Defense

Frank Charles Carlucci III was born on October 18, 1930, in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Princeton University in 1952 with an A.B. and served two years in the U.S. Navy (1952-1954). Carlucci went on to the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration and then worked briefly as a business executive at Jantzer Swimwear (1955-1956).

He was State Department Foreign Service officer from 1956 to 1969, and then he became director at the Office of Economic Opportunity in 1971. Carlucci was also associate director and deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget (1971-1972) and served as undersecretary of the department of health, education and welfare (1972-1974).

He was an ambassador to Portugal (1974-1977), undersecretary of health, education and welfare (1977-1978) and then deputy director of the C.I.A. (1978-1981). Carlucci then served as deputy secretary at the Department of Defense from 1981 to 1983.

He left government work to be president and eventually chairman and chief executive officer of Sears World Trade, Inc. (1984-1986) before serving in the Reagan cabinet as secretary of defense (1987-1988). Carlucci became a member of the Carlyle Group in 1989.