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Juanita M. Kreps

Juanita M. Kreps
24th United States Secretary of Commerce
In office
January 23, 1977 – October 31, 1979
President Jimmy Carter
Preceded by Elliot L. Richardson
Succeeded by Philip M. Klutznick
Personal details
Born Clara Juanita Morris
(1921-01-11)January 11, 1921
Lynch, Kentucky, United States
Died July 5, 2010(2010-07-05) (aged 89)
Durham, North Carolina, United States
Resting place Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Churchyard,
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Clifton Holland Kreps, Jr.
Children Laura Anne Kreps
Clifton Holland Kreps, III
Sarah Blair Kreps
Alma mater Berea College
Duke University
Denison University
Hofstra College

Juanita Morris Kreps (January 11, 1921 – July 5, 2010)[1] was an American government official and businesswoman. She served as the United States Secretary of Commerce from January 23, 1977 until October 31, 1979, under President Jimmy Carter and was the first woman to hold that position, and the fourth woman to hold any Cabinet position.[2]


  • Early life and career 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Early life and career

Kreps was born Clara Juanita Morris[3] on January 11, 1921, in Lynch, Kentucky. She was the daughter of Cenia (née Blair) and Elmer M. Morris.[1] She graduated from Berea College in 1942, and earned her master's and Ph.D. in economics at Duke University in 1944 and 1948, respectively. She was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. A specialist in labor demographics, Kreps taught at Denison University, Hofstra College, Queens College, and Duke. She rose through the ranks there to become the university's first female vice president. In 1972 she was the first woman director of the New York Stock Exchange.[4]

On August 11, 1944, she married Clifton Holland Kreps, Jr., a former professor at the University of North Carolina. They had two daughters and one son.[5]

Kreps was awarded the 1976 North Carolina Award for public service and 20 honorary degrees.[6] She was sat on the board of 10 major corporations.[5] A collection of Kreps' papers is housed at the Rubenstein Library at the Duke University.[7]

Political advisor Anne Wexler, who was serving on the President Jimmy Carter's transition team after his victory in the 1976 presidential election, recommended Kreps for a post in the Carter administration. Kreps was appointed to serve as the Secretary of Commerce.[8] She resigned on October 31, 1979. She was replaced by Philip M. Klutznick.

Kreps died in Durham, North Carolina, on July 5, 2010. She was buried at the Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Churchyard in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

See also


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ McFadden, Robert D. (7 July 2010). "Juanita M. Kreps, Commerce Secretary, Dies at 89". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 July 2010. 
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b Juanita M. Kreps
  6. ^ NC SPIN Online
  7. ^ "Juanita Morris Kreps Papers, 1921-2001 and undated". Rubenstein Library, Duke University. 
  8. ^ Martin, Douglas. "Anne Wexler, an Influential Political Operative and Lobbyist, Is Dead at 79", The New York Times, August 8, 2009. Accessed August 8, 2009.

External links

  • Oral History Interview with Juanita Kreps at Oral Histories of the American South
Political offices
Preceded by
Elliot L. Richardson
U.S. Secretary of Commerce
Served under: Jimmy Carter

January 23, 1977 – October 31, 1979
Succeeded by
Philip M. Klutznick
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