David Kennedy

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Person.png David Kennedy   SourcewatchRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
David M Kennedy.jpg
BornJuly 21, 1905
DiedMay 1, 1996 (Age 90)
Alma materWeber State University, George Washington University, Rutgers University
Member ofCouncil on Foreign Relations/Members 2
Chicago banker, Secretary of the Treasury and NATO ambassador under Nixon, with hints at deep state connections.

Employment.png United States Secretary of the Treasury

In office
March 17, 1972 - February 11, 1971
Succeeded byJohn Connally

Employment.png United States Ambassador to NATO

In office
March 17, 1972 - February 1, 1973
Succeeded byDonald Rumsfeld

David Matthew Kennedy was an American politician and businessman. He was the 60th U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and later as the 8th U.S. Ambassador to NATO, both under U.S. President Richard Nixon. He was Chief Executive and Chairman of the Board of the bank Continental Illinois during the 1950s and 1960s.

Early life

Kennedy was born on July 21, 1905 in Randolph, Utah, to George and Katherine Kennedy (née Johnson). His father was a rancher and served in Utah state government. His mother was ill for much of his childhood and the family grew up in Kaysville and later Ogden. His grandparents John Kennedy and Peter Johnson formed the Bank of Randolph.

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), Kennedy married Lenora Margaret Bingham in the church's Salt Lake Temple in November 1925. Shortly thereafter he was a missionary for the church in Liverpool, England.[1] His mission presidents were James E. Talmage and John A. Widtsoe. [2]

Kennedy attended public schools and received a bachelor's degree from Weber State University, graduating in 1928. His first government job was as a staff member for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.[3] During this time he built up his financial experience and later became assistant to then-Fed Chairman Marriner Eccles. Kennedy was also attending George Washington University and received master's and law degrees from there in 1935 and 1937. He completed the Stonier Graduate School of Banking program, then housed at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, in 1939.

Chicago years

He left the Federal Reserve and joined Continental of Illinois in 1946, starting in their bond department. By 1951, he was a bank President and later was Chairman of the Board and CEO from 1959 to 1969. At the time of his appointment as Treasury Secretary in 1969, Continental Illinois ranked as the 15th largest bank in the world.

Kennedy was counselor to John K. Edmunds in the presidency of the LDS Church's Chicago Stake. He was also a member of the board of Nauvoo Restoration from its founding in 1962, and advised David O. McKay, Harold B. Lee and other LDS Church leaders on banking matters. It was in part due to the advice of Kennedy that McKay restructured the management of Zions First National Bank so that the church's president no longer held the title of bank president, with Orval Adams assuming that title.[4]

During these same years, Kennedy was also chairman of Mayor Richard J. Daley's Mayor's Committee for Economic and Cultural Growth in Chicago.[5] In 1957, Kennedy became a member of the board of trustees of the University of Chicago. While serving in this post, he was involved in fundraising. In 1966, he was asked to head a fundraising drive for Brigham Young University (BYU). He worked on this project until becoming the US Treasury Secretary.[6]

From 1961 until January 1969, Kennedy was a member of the board of trustees of the Brookings Institution. In 1963, he commissioned a house in Winnetka, Illinois.[7]

Government service

Kennedy in a group photo of Nixon's cabinet on June 16, 1972, second from the right in the back row.

Kennedy was a special assistant on debt management to Treasury Secretary George M. Humphrey. He was also on the staff of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve system from 1930 to 1946,[8] ending up assistant to the Chairman.

In October 1962, U.S. President John F. Kennedy (no relation) appointed him a member of a private corporation (COMSAT) to own and operate the United States' share of a global satellite communications system. He was elected to the permanent board of directors in 1964.[9]

In 1967, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Kennedy as chairman of the Commission on Budgetary Concepts, whose recommendations were adopted as standard government budgetary practice.

Kennedy was nominated by Nixon to be the 60th Secretary of the Treasury. He served from 1969 until 1971. Nixon, who had little interest in economics and expected his top economic advisers to run that portfolio, fairly quickly concluded that Kennedy was not up to the task, being weak both on policy-making and as a lead economics spokesman for the administration. Nixon concluded Kennedy was a "cipher" and by April 1970 told aide John Ehrlichman that Kennedy was to be replaced.[10]

Kennedy was made U.S. Ambassador to NATO from March 1972 to February 1973.

He founded the US-Taiwan Business Council in 1976, and was its Chairman for fourteen years, until 1990.

Church service

He was also a special representative of the LDS Church's First Presidency.[11] This assignment required him to represent the church around the world, meeting with government and ecclesiastical leaders.

In 1985, the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies at BYU opened and is named in his honor.

Following the death of his wife, Lenora Bingham, on August 24, 1995, Kennedy died in Salt Lake City, Utah on May 1, 1996, from cardiovascular disease and the congestive heart failure, at the age of 90. He was interred in Randolph City Cemetery, near to his birthplace in Randolph, Utah.


Event Participated in

WEF/Annual Meeting/201126 January 201130 January 2011Switzerland
World Economic Forum
2230 guests in Davos, with the theme: "Shared Norms for the New Reality".
Many thanks to our Patrons who cover ~2/3 of our hosting bill. Please join them if you can.


  1. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1986/06/david-m-kennedy-ambassador-for-the-kingdom?lang=eng
  2. Palmer, Spencer J., The Expanding Church, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1978) p. 65
  3. Sobel, Robert. Biographical Dictionary of the United States Executive Branch, 1774-1977, (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1977) p. 199-200
  4. https://archive.org/details/davidmatthewkenn00hick pp=206–207
  5. https://archive.org/details/davidmatthewkenn00hick p=211
  6. https://archive.org/details/davidmatthewkenn00hick pp=213–215
  7. https://archive.org/details/davidmatthewkenn00hick pp=215–216
  8. Sobel, Robert. Biographical Dictionary of the United States Executive Branch, 1774-1977, (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1977) p. 199-200
  9. https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=888&dat=19640918&id=bxYOAAAAIBAJ&pg=6593,4433191
  10. https://www.worldcat.org/oclc/37975682 page 10
  11. http://kennedy.byu.edu/who-is-david-m-kennedy/