William Gossett

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Person.png William GossettRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
William T. Gossett.jpg
Gainesville, Texas, USA
DiedJuly 20, 1998 (Age 93)
Alma materCoe College, University of Utah, Columbia University School of Law
SpouseElizabeth Evans Hughes
Ford Motor Company executive appointed Deputy Special Representative for Trade Negotiations by JFK (on the advice of Robert S. McNamara)

William T. Gossett was appointed Deputy Special Representative for Trade Negotiations by JFK (on the advice of Robert S. McNamara) in 1962.[1] He attended the 1963 Bilderberg meeting.


Born in Gainesville, Texas, William Gossett grew up in Chickasha, Oklahoma. He attended Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and the University of Utah, where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1925. He earned his law degree at the Columbia University School of Law in 1928 and was admitted to the New York State bar the next year.[2]


From 1929 to 1947 Gossett specialized in litigation and corporate financing, initially with the law firm of Hughes, Schurman & Dwight and then with its successor firm, Hughes, Hubbard & Reed.[2]

While continuing his New York practice, he served as general counsel of the Bendix Aviation Corporation from 1945 until 1947. In his last year with the company he was elected to its board of directors. Gossett joined the Ford Motor Company in 1947 as general counsel and vice president. During his first year at the company, which was at the start of a postwar revitalization under Henry Ford 2d, Gossett was named to the Ford board.

On the advice of Robert S. McNamara, the Secretary of Defense, who was a friend and colleague at Ford, President John F. Kennedy named Gossett as deputy special representative for trade negotiations in 1962. He served in that position until the next year.[2]

A year later he returned to private practice with Dykema, Wheat, Spencer, Goodnow & Trigg in Detroit. He became a full partner in 1970, when the firm became Dykema, Gossett, Spencer, Goodnow & Trigg.

In 1968 Mr. Gossett was elected the 92d president of the American Bar Association.

A former president of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association and the American Bar Foundation, Gossett was an advocate of criminal justice reform.

In 1968 testimony before the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence, Gossett said, It is not surprising that the poor, black and white, resent and fear the law, since they experience far more often and far more vividly instances of the law doing something to them rather than for them.[2]

Throughout his career, Gossett was deeply involved in public service. He was a board member of about 20 institutions, including Riverside Church in Manhattan, where he served as president from 1946 to 1947 and the United Negro College Fund, of which he was chairman, from 1961 until 1967.[2]

Perosnal life

In 1930, Gossett married Elizabeth Evans Hughes, the daughter of Charles Evans Hughes, the former Chief Justice of the United States. Mrs. Gossett died in 1981.[2]

Mr. Gossett is survived by his wife, the former Kathryn Myers, of Bloomfield Hills, whom he married in 1984; a son, Thomas Gossett of Salt Spring Island, British Columbia; two daughters, Antoinette G. Denning of Westcliffe, Colo., and Elizabeth Karaman of Manhattan; eight grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.


Event Participated in

Bilderberg/196329 March 196331 March 1963France
Hotel Martinez
The 12th Bilderberg meeting and the second one in France.