David M. Kennedy, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury

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David Matthew Kennedy

Birthdate: (90)
Birthplace: Randolph, Rich, Utah, United States
Death: May 1, 1996 (90)
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of George Kennedy and Katherine Kennedy
Husband of Lenora Bingham
Brother of Lorenzo George Kennedy

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About David M. Kennedy, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury


David Matthew Kennedy (July 21, 1905 – May 1, 1996) was an American businessman, economist and Cabinet secretary.

Born in Randolph, Utah, he attended public school and graduated from Weber College, then a Mormon college, in 1928. He served a two-year mission, for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to England. Then he earned master's and law degrees from George Washington University in 1935 and 1937. He graduated from the Stonier Graduate School of Banking of Rutgers University in 1939.

He spent most of his career in the private sector with the bank Continental Illinois, beginning in the bond department and rising to CEO.

He died from cardiovascular disease in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1996.

The David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies at Brigham Young University is named for David M. Kennedy.

Early life

Kennedy was born in Randolph, Utah where his father George Kennedy was a rancher and his grandfathers John Kennedy and Peter Johnson had jointly formed the Bank of Randolph.

Kennedy's mother, Katherine, was ill much of the time he was growing up and he largely grew up in Kaysville, Utah and then Ogden, Utah spending much time taking care of his mother.

Kennedy married Lenora Bingham in the Salt Lake Temple in November 1924. In January 1925 he left to serve a mission in the United Kingdom. He served his entire mission in the mission office at Liverpool. His mission presidents were James E. Talmage and John A. Widstoe.

Chicago years

After studying at George Washington University where he earnd a law degree and working for several years for the Federal Reserve Board, Kennedy joined Continental of Illinois in the fall of 1946. Kennedy started with the bond department, and later served as a vice president, president and then CEO for nearly 10 years.

In addition to this Kennedy served as a counselor to John K. Edmunds in the presidentcy of the Chicago Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Kennedy was also a member of the board of Nauvoo Restoration from its founding in 1962 and advised David O. McKay. Harold B. Lee and other LDS Church leaders on banking matters. It was in part due to the advice of Kennedy that McKay restructured the management of Zions First National Bank so that the president of the church no longer held the title of president of the bank, with Orval Adams assuming that title.

During these same years Kennedy also served as chairman of Mayor Richard J. Daley's Mayor's Committee for Economic and Cultural Growth in Chicago. In 1957 Kennedy became a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Chicago. While serving in this post he was involved in fundraising. In 1966 he was asked to head a fundraising drive for Brigham Young University. He worked on this project until becoming Secretary of the US Treasury.

From 1961 until January 1969 Kennedy was a member of the board of trustees of the Brookings Institution. In 1963 he commissioned a house in Winnetka, Illinois.

Government service

Kennedy served as a special assistant on debt management to U.S. Secretary of the Treasury George M. Humphrey. He also served on the staff of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve system from 1930 to 1946 ending up assistant to the Chairman.

In October 1962, President John F. Kennedy (no relation) appointed him a member of a private corporation (COMSAT) to own and operate the United States' share of a global satellite communication system. He was elected to the permanent board of directors in 1964.

President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1969 appointed him chairman of the Commission on Budgetary Concepts, whose recommendations were adopted as standard government budgetary practice.

Kennedy was nominated by President Richard Nixon to be the 60th Secretary of the Treasury. He served from 1969 until 1971.

Kennedy served as the U.S. Ambassador to NATO from March 1972 to February 1973.

He founded the US-Taiwan Business Council in 1976 and served as its Chairman for fourteen years until 1990.

Church service

He also served as a special representative of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This assignment required him to represent the church around the world, meeting with government and ecclesiastical leaders.

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David M. Kennedy, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury's Timeline

July 21, 1905
Randolph, Rich, Utah, United States
May 1, 1996
Age 90
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States