Executive Branch

Sub Catagories:
  • No categories
Clear

Entries - Entry Category: Executive Branch

Breckinridge, Clifton Rodes

Clifton Rodes Breckinridge was a late-nineteenth-century Arkansas politician who attained national prominence. After serving as a leading congressman for more than a decade, he became the first Arkansan appointed to a major European diplomatic post, serving as minister to Russia for three years. Late in life, Breckinridge was a delegate to the 1917–1918 Arkansas Constitutional Convention. Clifton Breckinridge was born in Lexington, Kentucky, on November 22, 1846, to Mary Cyrene Burch and John Cabell Breckinridge. The Breckinridges were a political dynasty that began with his grandfather, John Breckinridge, who was President Thomas Jefferson’s attorney general. The dynasty continued with John Cabell Breckinridge, who served as a senator and vice president of the United States and as a general and secretary …

Caldwell, Arthur Brann

Arthur Brann Caldwell served in several capacities with the federal government over nearly four decades, including as an assistant to a U.S. senator and a U.S. vice president and as an officer in the Department of War. He also had a long career as a lawyer and administrator with the Department of Justice. A. B. Caldwell was born on September 1, 1906, in Mammoth Spring (Fulton County) to John Caldwell and Margaret Sterling Caldwell; he had one sibling. Caldwell’s father served as assistant attorney general of Arkansas before he became librarian of the Arkansas Supreme Court. Caldwell attended the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County), where he was very active in Glee Club and other musical groups and served in …

Clark, Wesley Kanne

Wesley Kanne Clark is an Arkansas resident whose distinguished military career propelled him into the international spotlight. His consulting business, high-profile television commentary, and political aspirations sustain his involvement with the nation’s political leaders and processes. He obtained the rank of a four-star general during his military career and acted as the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, Europe, from 1997 to 2000. During his first political race in 2004, he was a Democratic candidate for president of the United States. Although unsuccessful in that race, he ran an effective campaign and ultimately turned his support to John Kerry’s bid. Wesley Kanne was born in Chicago, Illinois, on December 23, 1944, the only child of Venetta and Benjamin Kanne. His father, …

Clinton, Bill

aka: William Jefferson Clinton
William Jefferson Clinton, a native of Hope (Hempstead County), was the fortieth and forty-second governor of Arkansas and the forty-second president of the United States. Clinton’s tenure as governor of Arkansas, eleven years and eleven months total, was the second longest in the state’s history. Only Orval E. Faubus served longer, with twelve years. Clinton was the second-youngest governor in the state’s history, after John Selden Roane, and the third-youngest person to become president, after Theodore Roosevelt and John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Clinton’s years as governor were marked by extensive efforts to reform the public school system and to spur economic growth. He persuaded lawmakers to enact numerous educational reforms, levy substantial taxes to improve education, and enact an array of …

Clinton, Hillary Diane Rodham

Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton was the first lady of Arkansas, first lady of the United States, United States senator from New York (marking the first time in the nation’s history that a first lady was elected to the Senate), and Secretary of State in the administration of President Barack Obama. She was the only U.S. first lady to keep an office in the West Wing among the president’s senior staff and the only first lady to run for president. Her independence and public involvement with a number of issues often made her a subject of controversy, but her support of women’s and children’s issues won her many admirers. In 2016, she became the first woman nominated for president by a …

Elders, Joycelyn

aka: Minnie Lee Jones
Joycelyn Elders was director of the Arkansas Department of Health and the U.S. surgeon general in the administration of President Bill Clinton. Her controversial opinions led to her resignation after just over a year as surgeon general. She was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame in 2016. Joycelyn Elders was born Minnie Lee Jones on August 13, 1933, in Schaal (Howard County). She took the name Joycelyn while attending college. The eldest of Curtis and Haller Jones’s eight children, she spent much of her childhood working in cotton fields. From an early age, Jones showed considerable academic ability, and in 1949, she earned a scholarship to Philander Smith College …

Foster, Vincent Walker (Vince), Jr.

Vincent Walker Foster Jr. was a prominent Little Rock (Pulaski County) lawyer and close friend and associate of Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Although he had a distinguished legal career in Arkansas, he became a historically important figure for the last six months of his life, when he was deputy counsel for the White House in the administration of President Clinton. Despondent over the political turmoil in which he became involved, Foster committed suicide in a suburban Virginia park, triggering a series of investigations that became part of what was popularly called the “Whitewater scandal.” Vince Foster was born on January 15, 1945, to Vincent W. and Alice Mae Foster in Hope (Hempstead County), where his father …

Gober, Hershel Wayne

Hershel Wayne Gober is an Arkansas native who followed a career in the military with business and government positions. Gober held high-level posts in the Department of Veterans Affairs at both the state and national levels under President Bill Clinton. Hershel W. Gober was born on December 21, 1936, in Monticello (Drew County). One of eight children of Jimmie Price Gober and Wade Harvey Gober, he grew up in Monticello and attended the local public schools. He received his undergraduate degree from Alaska Methodist University (now Alaska Pacific University) in Anchorage. Gober married Olivia DeArmond on April 5, 1956, and they went on to have six children before the marriage ended in divorce. Following graduation from college, Gober joined the …

Hollis, Mary Cal

Mary Cal Hollis is a liberal political activist. A native of Arkansas who now lives in Colorado, she has run for national office on both the Socialist and Green Party tickets. Mary Cal Hollis was born on January 13, 1952, in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), one of four children of Cal Hollis and Ruth Bylander Hollis. She graduated in 1970 from Pine Bluff High School. After graduation, she went on to the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County), where in 1974 she earned a BA in special education, followed in 1978 by a master’s degree in specific learning disabilities. In addition, she has studied multicultural special education at the University of Colorado at Boulder. A self-described “bleeding-heart liberal,” …

McLarty, Mack

aka: Thomas Franklin McLarty III
Thomas Franklin “Mack” McLarty III was the first Arkansan to serve as White House chief of staff. A kindergarten classmate and lifelong friend of President Bill Clinton, McLarty served as Clinton’s chief of staff from 1993 to 1994 and, later, as his special envoy for the Americas. He is now president of McLarty Associates, originally Kissinger McLarty Associates, an international advisory firm created in partnership with former secretary of state Henry Kissinger. Mack McLarty was born on June 14, 1946, in Hope (Hempstead County) to Thomas F. McLarty Jr. and Helen Hesterly McLarty. He has one younger brother. His father owned and operated an automobile dealership started by McLarty’s grandfather. His mother, active in community and charitable endeavors, became the …

Pace, Frank

Frank Pace Jr. was an Arkansas native who served as Secretary of the Army under President Harry S. Truman from 1950 to 1953 and as the first president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting from 1968 to 1972 under Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon. Pace served in many capacities—such as attorney, civil servant, corporate executive, and nonprofit director—in his long career. Frank Pace Jr. was born in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on July 5, 1912, to Frank Pace and Flora Augusta Layton Pace. The family soon moved to Pennsylvania. He received a private school education in Pennsylvania before attending Princeton University. He received his law degree from Harvard University Law School in 1936. Pace returned to Arkansas, …

Presidential Candidates

Fourteen Arkansans or people closely associated with Arkansas have been candidates for president of the United States or have been considered contenders for the office. Some had short campaigns (or no campaign at all), while others have received significant national attention. Until 1968, Arkansans running for president generally represented minor parties with no hope of winning the general election. The campaign of Wilbur Mills in 1972 was the first to represent a serious chance at putting an Arkansan in the White House; hoping to be chosen on a later ballot at the Democratic convention, Mills continued his campaign until hours before the final vote. Following his success, other Arkansans entered the primaries of the two major parties and were taken …

Presidential Visits

Until the second half of the twentieth century, the visit of a president of the United States (or even of a former president) was a historic event in Arkansas. The ease and affordability of travel—and the election of an Arkansas native as president in 1992 and 1996—have made presidential visits less noteworthy. The following chart lists the visits of presidents and former presidents to the state of Arkansas from statehood in 1836 through the year 1990. The occasions when future presidents were in Arkansas, such as Colonel Zachary Taylor’s time in Fort Smith (Sebastian County) from 1841 to 1845, are not listed. President Bill Clinton’s numerous return visits to Arkansas are not included, nor are visits by Presidents George H. …

Reed, Pearlie Sylvester

Pearlie Sylvester Reed spent more than a quarter century of his career working in agriculture, serving four major regions of the United States and initiating sweeping progressive and anti-discrimination policies in the 1990s. He was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2012. Pearlie S. Reed was born in Heth (St. Francis County) on June 14, 1948. He was one of eighteen children of Floyd L. Reed and Gennora Reed. Reed attended school in the nearby town of Hughes (St. Francis County) and graduated from the segregated Mildred Jackson High School. As a student at what is now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), Reed began his career in agriculture in 1968 as an intern in …

Watson, Jack Hearn, Jr.

Jack Hearn Watson Jr. is an attorney and former government official who served in a number of positions, including White House chief of staff, during the presidency of Jimmy Carter. Since leaving the White House, he has continued to be an active member of the legal and civic communities, both at home and abroad. Jack H. Watson Jr. was born on October 24, 1938, in El Paso, Texas. The son of a navy enlisted man and his wife, Watson grew up in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). He earned a BS from Vanderbilt University in 1960, and after a stint in the U.S. Marines, where he achieved the rank of captain, Watson attended Harvard Law School. After graduating in 1966, he …