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Clifford Alexander Jr.

Clifford Alexander Jr.

Cliffors Alexander Jr. first African American Secretary of the Army

Clifford Alexander Jr. was born and raised in Harlem prior to his education at Fieldstone Ethical Culture, Harvard (1955) and Yale Law School (1958). Early influences were his mother and father. Edith served as the Deputy Director then Executive Director of the Mayor’s Committee on Unity under NYC Mayor LaGuardia. The Mayor’s Committee on Unity was the precursor to the NYC Commission on Human Rights and fought discrimination in employment practices, public accommodations, and housing.

His father was one of several Harlem community leaders who founded the Carver Bank in response to discriminatory lending practices and worked to integrate the Riverton Apartments while serving as its manager. Alexander joined the National Guard after Law School and began working as an attorney in New York. He was asked to come to Washington D.C. in 1963 to join the staff of the National Security Council in the Kennedy administration. 

After Kennedy was assassinated, he began working on domestic issues and rose to become a critical political insider serving in a national liaison role and counsel to President Lyndon Johnson during the passage of landmark Civil Rights legislation in 1964 (Civil Rights Act) and 1965 (Voting Rights Act).

He was later appointed EEOC Chairman by LBJ and served from 1967-1969. He also served under President Carter (1977-81) as the nation’s first African-American Secretary of the Army prior to leaving public service for the private practice of law.  He has been President of Alexander & Associates, a management consulting firm, since 1981. He is married to Adele Logan and they have two children.

Black AMerica News

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