Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

Raymond Donovan (1981–1985): Secretary of Labor

Raymond Donovan was born in Bayonne, New Jersey on August 31, 1930, and was minor seminarian with the Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity in Cottontown, Alabama. He went on to the Notre Dame seminary in New Orleans, Louisiana, working as a unionized laborer in the summers, graduating with a B.A. in Philosophy (1942).

Donovon then worked for American Insurance Company and later with Schiavone Construction Company as vice president in charge of labor relations, financing, bonding, insurance and real estate (1959). He became executive vice president of Schiavone in 1971.

Donovan was secretary of labor from 1981 to 1985, and although his tenure was marred by controversy, he was acquitted in 1987 of charges of larceny and fraud.