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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

OPA News Release: [07/06/2009]
Contact Name: Bennett Gamble
Phone Number: (202) 693-4667
Release Number: 09-0794-NAT

Statement of U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis regarding death of former Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara

WASHINGTON — Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today issued the following statement regarding the death of former Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara:

"I offer my condolences to the McNamara family during this difficult time.

"Robert S. McNamara was a fellow Californian and a quintessential public servant.

"At the remarkably young age of 44, he began his service as the nation's Secretary of Defense. During a time of turmoil and political unrest he was plucked from the corporate world by President John F. Kennedy to serve in his Cabinet. He brought keen analysis and real world experience to the post in the age of youth, unrest, activism and a tumultuous world order.

"His talents and dedication took him from a modest upbringing in California to the highest levels of power in Washington, but he remained humble and had the courage to acknowledge his mistakes.

"He is most often associated with the Vietnam War, one of the most divisive conflicts our country has seen, but McNamara had a record of achievement in business, government and public service.

"Before entering the Kennedy Administration, and his later service to President Johnson, he was a 'Whiz Kid' at the Ford Motor Co. He helped turn the company around and stop its losses through careful planning and restructuring.

"After he left the Cabinet, as president of the World Bank, he devoted himself to improving the lives of the world's poor, and worked tirelessly to increase awareness about the economic and social problems of the developing world.

"As a public servant, a private sector leader and a family man, he was a giant. And the impact of his work will be felt by individuals across this nation and around the world for generations to come.

"My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Diana, and his children Craig, Kathleen and Margaret."