About Alexander Trowbridge, U.S. Secretary of Commerce
Alexander Buel Trowbridge III (December 12, 1929 – April 27, 2006) was the United States Secretary of Commerce from June 14, 1967 to March 1, 1968 in the administration of Lyndon Johnson.
Alexander Trowbridge was born on December 12, 1929, in Englewood, New Jersey. He was the son of American University Professor of Russian History Alexander Buel Trowbridge, Jr., and the grandson of Alexander Buel Trowbridge, former dean of the Cornell University College of Architecture (1897-1902). His grandmother Gertrude Mary Sherman was the great-great-granddaughter of American founding father Roger Sherman. His mother, the former Julie Chamberlain, was the executive director of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation from 1942 to 1961. Trowbridge's parents divorced, and he was raised by his mother.
As a young man he attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, in 1947, graduating from Princeton University in 1951. After World War II he worked with various reconstruction efforts. After working with the International Intern Program of the United Nations in Lake Success, New York he attended university and served in the Korean War in the Marine Corps.
Between 1954 and 1965 he served as an oil businessman. In 1965 President Lyndon Johnson made him Assistant Secretary of Commerce. On 19 January 1967 he became acting Secretary of Commerce. He became Secretary of Commerce on 14 June 1967 and served until 1 March 1968, at age 36 the youngest Secretary of Commerce in American history. He resigned to return to business, serving first as the President of the American Management Association before joining Allied Chemical as Vice-Chairman of the Morristown,NJ-based parent company and Chairman of their Canadian subsidiary, Allied Chemical Canada Ltd. of Pointe-Claire (QC). He later served as head of the National Association of Manufacturers (from 1981 to 1989). In the early 1990s, he served as a member of the Competitiveness Policy Council.
As Secretary he proposed to re-merge the Department of Commerce with the Department of Labor.
He died at his home in Washington, D.C., at the age of 76 after suffering from Lewy body dementia.