Joseph Califano

Photo credit: Clair Popkin, 2017

Born May 15, 1931

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Joseph Califano began his career in the legal corps of the US Navy in 1955, and served in various Navy and Army leadership roles until he began working in the White House in 1964. From 1965-1969, he acted as President Lyndon Johnson’s top aide in the White House, advising on the President’s legislative agenda and domestic issues such as labor and civil rights. He served as the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare under President Jimmy Carter from 1977-1979, and in the 1980s, he founded the Washington D.C. law firm Califano, Ross & Heineman. At Columbia University, he established the National Center on Addiction and Substance and he has written extensively on substance use, abuse and treatment in the United States. In 2010 received the Gustav O. Leinhard Award from the Institute of Medicine for his contribution to public health.


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