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About Maurice Hubert Stans, Sec of Commerce
Maurice Hubert Stans (March 22, 1908 – April 14, 1998) was an American accountant, high-ranking civil servant, Cabinet member, and political organizer. He served as the finance chairman for the Committee to Re-elect the President, working for the re-election of Richard Nixon, and was a peripheral figure in the ensuing Watergate Scandal.
Stans was born in Shakopee, Minnesota, in 1908. He was the son of J. Hubert and Mathilda Nyssen Stans and graduated from Shakopee High School in 1925. Stans worked at a local foundry before traveling to Chicago to find work with friend, Otto F. Schultz. The same year he began work as a stenographer and bookkeeper for a Chicago importer while attending evening classes at Northwestern University. In 1928 he joined the Chicago-based firm of Alexander Grant and Company, certified public accountants, and continued his part-time studies at Columbia University while working at the firm's New York City office. He attended Columbia University from 1928–1930. He was an executive partner with the Alexander Grant & Co. accounting firm in Chicago, Illinois from 1940 until 1955.
Civil servant, joins Cabinet
He later served as U.S. deputy postmaster general from 1955–1957; deputy director Bureau of the Budget (as OMB was known before 1970) 1957–1958, director of the Bureau of the Budget 1958–1961; Secretary of Commerce 1969–1972. He was inducted into the Accounting Hall of Fame in 1960. In 1961, Stans was one of the founders of the African Wildlife Foundation.
In 1972, he resigned as Secretary of Commerce, to chair the finance committee of the Committee for the Re-Election of the President (CRP), Richard Nixon's re-election campaign. Money that he raised for the campaign was clearly used to finance some of the illegal Watergate activities. However, Stans always maintained, and it has not been proven to the contrary, that he had no knowledge of the various Watergate crimes.
It was rumored Stans was the source for raising the million dollars in cash which Nixon kept in the White House safe. This cash was used to pay Howard Hunt and the Cuban/English Watergate burglars. Stans raised the cash from a list of large contributors by threatening IRS audits.
He was indicted in 1973 for perjury and obstruction of justice, but was acquitted the following year.
He later authored a book, The Terrors of Justice: The Untold Side of Watergate, in which he detailed his side of the Watergate story.
Stans died in 1998 aged 90 following a heart attack at the Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, California. He was survived by his wife Penny, his daughter Terry, her husband Bill and their three children, his sons Steve and Ted, his grandchildren, Shelia and Peter, and Peter's wife Lois and their three children: Rebecca, Samantha and Deidre.