Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

William Brock (1985–1987): Secretary of Labor

William Brock was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on November 3, 1930, and received a B.S. in commerce from Washington and Lee University (1953). He went on to serve in the U.S. Navy (1953-1956) and left as a lieutenant, junior grade.

He worked in the family candy business, progressing from assistant in production and control (1956) to director of the company and vice president of marketing (1961). He represented Tennessee's Third Congressional District in Congress from 1963 to 1971 and then went on to serve in the U.S. Senate from 1970 to 1977. He later chaired the Republican National Committee (1977-1981).

While in the Reagan administration, Brock served as U.S. trade representative from 1981 to 1985 and as U.S. secretary of labor from 1985 to 1987. He resigned to become chairman of the Dole for President committee in 1987. He then worked as a consultant in Washington, D.C., and he mounted an unsuccessful bid in 1994 for a U.S. Senate seat from Maryland.