John (Gionne) Anthony Volpe was born December 8, 1908, in Wakefield, Massachusetts. His family-owned construction company built hospitals, schools, shopping centers, public buildings, including the Department of Transportation headquarters building and the Nassif Building, and military installations along the Eastern seaboard and in other parts of the country. In 1956, President Dwight Eisenhower named the former Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Works as the interim-but first--Federal Highway Administrator, in charge of the new Interstate highway program. In 1960, he won election as Governor of Massachusetts. He lost in 1962, but won again in 1964 and in 1966. In December 1968, he was nominated as the nation's second Secretary of Transportation, and served from January 22, 1969 to February 2, 1973. During his tenure, the Department of Transportation established the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as a discrete operating administration, supported the enactment of laws to upgrade the nation's airport-airways system, to renovate urban transit systems, and to create Amtrak, showcased America's transportation vitality in TRANSPO '72, and completed the nation's first definitive transportation "needs" report. He served as the American Ambassador to Italy between 1973 and 1977. From 1982 to 1983, he was chair of the Commission on Drunk Driving. In September 1990, the Department renamed the Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in his honor. He died on November 11, 1994.
From the description of Volpe, John A., 1908-1994 (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10567671