Clifford Alexander

Photo credit: Clair Popkin, 2017

Born September 21, 1933

Clifford Alexander Jr. was born in New York City, New York and worked under four U.S. Presidents, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Carter. Alexander worked as Assistant District Attorney for New York County before joining the National Security Council as a Foreign Affairs Officer in 1963 under President Kennedy. Under President Lyndon Johnson, Alexander worked from 1964-1968 as Special Assistant to the President, Associate Special Counsel, and Deputy Special Counsel. From 1967-1969 Alexander served as the third chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) formed after President Johnson signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act. After leaving the EEOC, Alexander returned to his private legal practice until President Jimmy Carter selected him as his Secretary of Army in 1977, the first African American to hold this cabinet-level position.

Alexander received his B.A. degree, cum laude, from Harvard University in 1955 and was president of the Harvard Student Council, the first African American to hold this position. In 1958 he received his law degree from Yale University Law School. 


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