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William Bennett

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Title: William Bennett  
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Subject: Conservatism in the United States, United States Secretary of Education, Republican Party presidential primaries, 1996, SIRIUS XM Patriot Plus, Domestic policy of the Ronald Reagan administration
Collection: 1943 Births, American Male Writers, American Political Pundits, American Political Writers, American Talk Radio Hosts, Chairpersons of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Cnn People, Conservatism in the United States, Directors of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, George H. W. Bush Administration Personnel, Gonzaga College High School Alumni, Harvard Law School Alumni, Living People, National Review People, New York Democrats, New York Republicans, People from Brooklyn, Reagan Administration Cabinet Members, The Heritage Foundation, United States Secretaries of Education, University of Texas at Austin Alumni, Washington, D.C. Democrats, Washington, D.C. Republicans, Williams College Alumni
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William Bennett

William J. Bennett
3rd United States Secretary of Education
In office
February 6, 1985 – September 20, 1988
President Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Terrel Bell
Succeeded by Lauro Cavazos
1st Director of the National Drug Control Policy
In office
Appointed by George H. W. Bush
Preceded by None
Succeeded by Bob Martinez
5th Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities
In office
Appointed by Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Joseph Duffey
Succeeded by Lynne Cheney
John Agresto (acting)
Personal details
Born William John Bennett
(1943-07-31) July 31, 1943
Brooklyn, New York
Political party Republican (1986-present)
Spouse(s) Mary Elayne Glover "Elayne" Bennett
Children John and Joseph
Alma mater Williams College
University of Texas-Austin
Harvard Law School
Religion Catholic

William John "Bill" Bennett (born July 31, 1943) is an K12, a publicly traded online education company.


  • Life and career 1
  • Political viewpoints 2
  • Books 3
  • Writing 4
  • Radio and television programs 5
  • Controversies 6
    • Gambling 6.1
    • Radio show abortion comment 6.2
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Life and career

Bennett was born in Brooklyn, the son of Nancy (née Walsh), a medical secretary, and F. Robert Bennett, a banker.[1][2] He moved to Washington, D.C., where he attended Gonzaga College High School. He graduated from Williams College, where he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Society, and went on to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in Political Philosophy. He also has a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

From 1979 to 1981, he was the executive director of the Senate in a 97-2 vote.

Bennett is a member of the National Security Advisory Council of the Center for Security Policy (CSP). He was co-director of Empower America and was a Distinguished Fellow in Cultural Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation. Long active in United States Republican Party politics, he is now an author, speaker, and, since April 5, 2004, the host of the weekday radio program Morning in America on the Dallas, Texas-based Salem Communications. In addition to his radio show, he is the Washington Fellow of the Claremont Institute. Further work at the Claremont Institute includes his role as Chairman of Americans for Victory Over Terrorism (AVOT). He was also a political analyst for CNN until his termination in 2013.

He is a Senior Advisor to Project Lead The Way, one of the nation’s leading providers of training and curriculum to improve STEM education in American schools; he is on the advisory board of Udacity, Inc., Viridis Learning, Inc. and the board of directors of Vocefy, Inc. and Webtab, Inc. He is also the Chief Education Advisor to Beanstalk Innovation, an international education company.[3]

Bennett and his wife, Mary Elayne "Elayne" Glover, have two sons, John and Joseph. Elayne is the president and founder of Best Friends Foundation, a national program promoting sexual abstinence among adolescents. He is the brother of Washington attorney Robert S. Bennett.

Political viewpoints

Bennett tends to take a conservative position on affirmative action, school vouchers, curriculum reform, and religion in education. As Education Secretary, he asked colleges to better enforce drug laws and supported a classical education. He frequently criticized schools for low standards. In 1988 he called the Chicago public school system "the worst in the nation."[4]

Bennett is a staunch supporter of the War on Drugs and has been criticized for his views on the issue. On Larry King Live, he said that a viewer's suggestion of beheading drug dealers would be "morally plausible."[5] He also "lamented that we still grant them [drug dealers] habeas corpus rights."[6]

In 1995, he teamed up with C. Delores Tucker to create advertising to target Time Warner's lack of regulation of gangsta rap and its supposed glorification of violence and denigration of women. Bennett is a member of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and was one of the signers of the January 26, 1998 PNAC Letter[7] sent to President Bill Clinton urging Clinton to remove Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein from power.


Bennett's book America: The Last Best Hope (Volume I): From the Age of Discovery to a World at War.

Bennett's best-known written work may be The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories (1993), which he edited; he has also authored and edited eleven other books, including The Children’s Book of Virtues (which inspired an animated television series) and The Death of Outrage: Bill Clinton and the Assault on American Ideals (1998).

Other books

  • Is College Worth It? with David Wilezol (2013)
  • The Fight of our Lives co-authored with Seth Leibsohn (2011)
  • The Book of Man: Readings on the Path to Manhood (2011)
  • A Century Turns: New Hopes, New Fears (2010)
  • The True Saint Nicholas (2009)
  • The American Patriot's Almanac: Daily Readings on America (2008 with John Cribb)
  • America: The Last Best Hope (Volume II): From a World at War to the Triumph of Freedom (2007)
  • America: The Last Best Hope (Volume I): From the Age of Discovery to a World at War (2006)
  • Why We Fight: Moral Clarity and the War on Terrorism (2003)
  • The Broken Hearth: Reversing the Moral Collapse of the American Family (2001)
  • The Educated Child: A Parent's Guide from Preschool through Eighth Grade (1999)
  • The Index of Leading Cultural Indicators (1999)
  • Our Sacred Honor (1997, compilation of writings by the Founding Fathers)
  • Body Count: Moral Poverty...and How to Win America's War Against Crime and Drugs (1996)
  • Moral Compass: Stories for a Life's Journey (1995)
  • The De-Valuing of America: The Fight for Our Culture and Our Children (1992)
  • James Madison Elementary School: A Curriculum For American Students (August 1988, as Secretary of the Department of Education)
  • James Madison High School: A Curriculum For American Students (December 1987, as Secretary of the Department of Education)
  • First Lessons. A Report on Elementary Education in America (co-authored in September 1986, as Secretary of Department of Education)


Bennett writes for National Review Online, National Review and Commentary. He is a former senior editor of National Review and wrote the book "To Reclaim a Legacy."

Radio and television programs

Bennett is the host of Morning in America, a nationally syndicated radio program produced and distributed by Salem Communications. The show airs live weekdays from 6 to 9 a.m. Eastern Time; it is one of the only syndicated conservative talk shows in the morning drive time slot. However, its clearances are limited due to a preference for local shows in this slot, and the show gets most of its clearances on Salem-owned outlets. Morning in America is also carried on Sirius Satellite Radio, on Channel 144, also known as the Patriot Channel[8]

In 2008, Bennett became the host of a CNN weekly talk show, Beyond the Politics. The show did not have a long run, but Bennett remained a CNN contributor until he was let go in 2013 by then-new CNN president, Jeff Zucker.



In 2003 it became publicly known that Bennett was a high-stakes

Political offices
Preceded by
Terrel Bell
U.S. Secretary of Education
Served under: Ronald Reagan

Succeeded by
Lauro Cavazos
Preceded by
Office created
Director of National Drug Control Policy
Succeeded by
Bob Martinez
Government offices
Preceded by
Joseph Duffey
Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities
Succeeded by
Lynne Cheney
  • Morning in America
  • Best Friends Foundation
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
    • , January 9, 1994.Book of Virtues interview with Bennett on Booknotes
    • interview with Bennett, July 4, 2010In Depth

External links

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^
  4. ^ Schools and Education
  5. ^ (on a June 15th, 1989 appearance on Larry King Live)
  6. ^ Balko, Radley (2010-12-20) Beyond Bars, Reason
  7. ^ The Indy Voice..."Be the change you want to see in the world." » Project New American Century
  8. ^ Sirius Channel Listing
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Are Bill Bennett’s gambling days over or not? - The Carpetbagger Report
  13. ^ Transcripts: CNN Saturday Morning News [3]. October 1, 2005


See also

A thought experiment about public policy, on national radio, should not have received the condemnations it has. Anyone paying attention to this debate should be offended by those who have selectively quoted me, distorted my meaning, and taken out of context the dialog I engaged in this week. Such distortions from 'leaders' of organizations and parties is a disgrace not only to the organizations and institutions they serve, but to the First Amendment.[13]

Bennett responded to the criticism saying, in part:

On September 28, 2005, in a discussion on Bennett's Morning in America radio show, a caller to the show proposed that “lost revenue from the people who have been aborted in the last 30 years" could preserve Social Security if abortion wasn't permitted following Roe v. Wade. Bennett responded that aborting all African-American babies "If you wanted to reduce crime, you could-if that were the sole purpose-you could abort every black baby in this country and the crime rate would go down"(McNamara, Robert. Multiculturalism in the Criminal Justice System. McGraw-Hill (2009))".

Radio show abortion comment

Several months later, Bennett qualified his position, saying "So, in this case, the excessive gambling is over." He explained "Since there will be people doing the micrometer on me, I just want to be clear: I do want to be able to bet the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl."[12]

Bennett never said he had a gambling problem, and maintained that his habit did not put himself or his family in any financial jeopardy. After Bennett's gambling problem became public, he said he did not believe his habit set a good example, that he had "done too much gambling" over the years, and his "gambling days are over". "We are financially solvent," his wife Elayne told the USA Today. "All our bills are paid." She added his gambling days are over. "He's never going again," she said.[11]


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