Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

C. William Verity (1987–1989): Secretary of Commerce

Calvin William Verity was born in Middletown, Ohio, on January 26, 1917. He obtained a B.A. in economics from Yale University (1939). Verity worked in advertising for Young and Rubican, managed the Hapsburg House restaurant, and went on to his grandfather's company.

He served the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant in the Pacific (1942-1946), and then returned to Armco. He progressed from handling personnel, to director of organizational planning and development (1957), to director of public relations (1961), to vice president and general manager of steel (1964), to executive vice president of Armco (1965), and finally to chairman of Armco's board (1971).

Verity was also chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (1980-1981), chairman of Reagan's bipartisan task force on Private Sector Initiatives (1981), and cochair of the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Trade Economic Council (1979-1984).

In the latter years of the Reagan administration, he served as secretary of commerce (1987-1989).