Pierce, Samuel R., 1922-

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1922-09-08
Death 2000-10-31

Biographical notes:

Samuel R. Pierce was born August 8, 1922 in Glen Cove, New York, and served in the U.S. Army during and after the Second World War (1943-1946). He obtained his A.B. with honors from Cornell (1947), his law degree in 1949 from the Cornell Law School and earned his LL.M. in taxation (1952) at New York University School of Law. After being admitted to the New York Bar in 1949 he served as assistant district attorney of New York (1949-1953). Pierce was first lieutenant judge advocate general corps, reserve (1950-1952), assistant U.S. attorney, Southern District New York (1953-1955), assistant undersecretary of the Department of Labor during President Eisenhower's first term (1955-1956), and he served as associate counsel of the Council of the Judicial Subcommittee on Anti-Trust for the U.S. Supreme Court (1956). For a brief time, Pierce was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1956-1957). He then earned his J.D. and conducted postgraduate work at Yale Law School from 1957 to 1958. Pierce also served as a judge of the New York Court of General Sessions (1959-1961). He was very active in practicing private law, doing so on and off for well over twenty years (1957-1959, 1961-1970, and 1973-1981), at one time becoming a partner of Battle, Fowler, Pierce and Kheel. He was also on the faculty of New York University from 1958 to 1970. Pierce worked as general counsel and head legal director of the U.S. Department of the Treasury from 1970 to 1973 and served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Reagan Administration from 1981 to 1989. He was the first African American to serve in Ronald Reagan's Cabinet. Pierce died on October 31st, 2000.

From the guide to the Samuel R. Pierce papers, 1961-1985., (Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library)

Samuel R. Pierce received his B.A. degree in 1947 from Cornell University, his law degree in 1949 from the Cornell Law School and a Master of Laws degree from New York University School of Law in 1952. After being admitted to the New York Bar in 1949, he served for the next four years as an assistant district attorney. He was then appointed assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York before moving on to the Department of Labor in 1955, where he served as an assistant to the Undersecretary of Labor during President Eisenhower's first term. In 1961, Pierce became a partner in a major New York law firm, which he left from 1970 to 1973 when he was appointed general counsel of the Treasury Department. He served as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from 1981 to 1989 and then became the first African American to serve in Ronald Reagan's Cabinet.

From the description of Samuel R. Pierce papers, 1961-1985. (Cornell University Library). WorldCat record id: 64054132

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