All The President’s Men…From Wyoming
In honor of Presidents Day, here’s a list of six Wyoming natives or residents who have been appointed to serve as Cabinet members.
Stan Hathaway – The first Wyomingite ever appointed to serve on the President’s cabinet, Hathaway had been elected to two terms as Wyoming’s Governor before being named Secretary of the Interior by President Gerald Ford in 1975.
Sadly, Hathaway wouldn’t last long in Washington, D.C., resigning only six weeks after his appointment.
Charles Duncan – Appointed by President Jimmy Carter as the second Secretary of Energy in 1979, Duncan had previously served as the United State Deputy Director of Defense.
Prior to joining the Carter administration, Duncan was also the President of the Coca-Cola Corporation. Although he was born and raised in Texas, Duncan owned a ranch near Cody and listed Wyoming among his residences.
James Watt – The Lusk native and University of Wyoming graduate was among President Ronald Reagan’s most controversial cabinet members. Appointed as Secretary of the Interior in 1981, Watt was later forced to resign after mocking minorities in a public meeting.
After leaving the private sector, Watt become a lobbyist. In 1995, was indicted for perjury by a federal grand jury during an investigation into the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Watt plead guilty to one charge of withholding documents from the grand jury and was sentenced to five years of probation.
James Baker – Ronald Reagan’s White House Chief of Staff from 1981 to 1985, Baker was appointed as Secretary of the Treasury in 1985.
In 1988, President George H.W. Bush named him Secretary of State, a position he would hold for three years before serving as Bush’s Chief of Staff from 1992 through 1993.
Like Charles Duncan, Baker was a Texas native who became a part-time Wyoming resident later in life. In 1988, Baker purchased a ranch on Silver Creek in Sublette County, even registering as a Wyoming voter during the 1990 midterm election.
Dick Cheney – The most famous politician to ever represent Wyoming on the national stage, Cheney graduated from Natrona County High School in Casper before earning his undergraduate degree from the University of Wyoming.
After serving as President Gerald Ford’s White House Chief of Staff from 1975 to 1977, Cheney was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1979. While in Congress, he become the Republican Party’s Minority Whip.
In 1989, he was appointed by George H.W. Bush as the Secretary of Defense. He would return to Washington in 2000, serving two terms as President George W. Bush’s Vice President.
Norman Mineta – Named as President Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Commerce during the last six months of his term, Mineta went on to become the only democrat to serve on George W. Bush’s cabinet.
From 2001 to 2006, Mineta spent five years as the Secretary of Transportation, the longest secretarial term in the history of the department.
Although he was born and later returned to his native California, the son of Japanese immigrants was sent to live at the Heart Mountain Internment Camp, near Cody, during World War II. Mineta and his family spent several years at the camp, attending and graduating from Heart Mountain High School.