Coleman, William T. (William Thaddeus), 1920-

Alternative names
Birth 1920-07-07

Biographical notes:

William T. Coleman worked for the U.S. Reclamation Service at Cody, Wyoming and on the Shoshone Dam Project.

From the description of William T. Coleman photographs, 1907-1910 (University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center). WorldCat record id: 192006207

William Thaddeus Coleman, Jr., was born July 7, 1920, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 1941 and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1946. He began his legal career in 1947, serving as law clerk to Judge Herbert F. Goodrich of the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and clerk to Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter in 1948. He was one of the lead strategists and coauthor of the legal brief in Brown v. Board of Education, 1954. He served as a member of the NAACP's national legal committee, director and member of its executive committee, and president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. He was a member of President Eisenhower's Committee on Government Employment Policy from 1959 to 1961, a senior consultant and assistant counsel to the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy in 1964, and a consultant to the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency from 1963 to 1975. In 1969, he was a member of the U.S. delegation to the twenty-fourth session of the United Nations General Assembly. He was a member of the National Commission on Productivity from 1971 to 1972. He was senior partner in the law firm of Dilworth, Paxson, Kalish, Levy & Coleman at the time of his nomination to be the fourth Secretary of Transportation. He served as Secretary from March 7, 1975 to January 20, 1977. During his tenure, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's automobile test facility at East Liberty, Ohio, commenced operations, and the Department established the Materials Transportation Bureau to address pipeline safety and the safe shipment of hazardous materials. On leaving the Department, he returned to Philadelphia, but subsequently became a partner in the Washington office of the Los Angeles-based law firm of O'Melveny and Myers. In 1996, in the wake of the July 17 crash of TWA Flight 800, he served on the President's Commission on Airline and Airport Security. That same year, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor given to civilians by the United States.

From the description of Coleman, William T. (William Thaddeus), 1920- (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10574153


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Ark ID:


  • Dams
  • Water resources development
  • Flood dams and reservoirs
  • Natural resources--Management
  • Irrigation projects


not available for this record


  • Buffalo Bill Dam (Wyo.) (as recorded)
  • Wyoming (as recorded)