Tenure: January 21, 1953 to September 10, 1953
From Illinois; high school, 3 years evening school. At age 17 became steamfitter's apprentice, became active in the plumbers' and pipe fitters' union, and rose through the ranks to become president of the union. From 1933 to 1941, he was Director of Labor for the State of Illinois, with considerable cooperative work with Frances Perkins, then Secretary of Labor.
Appointed by Dwight Eisenhower. He was conspicuous on Ike's "Nine Millionaires and a Plumber" Cabinet. He also was a Democrat among Republicans. He believed the Administration would agree with revisions in the Taft-Hartley Act. He pushed for these revisions without success.
Resigned after less than 8 months in office (the shortest tenure of any Secretary of Labor).