JFKWHP-ST-73-6-61 (crop): President Kennedy Attends Opening Day of 1961 Baseball Season (Pictured: Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Abraham Ribicoff), 10 April 1961

Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Abraham Ribicoff was the first appointee to President Kennedy’s cabinet in 1961. Initially asked to become Attorney General, Ribicoff declined and suggested Robert F. Kennedy instead. Mr. Ribicoff and President Kennedy had first become friends in 1949, when Mr. Ribicoff joined the U.S. House of Representatives. He served as Governor of Connecticut from 1955 to 1961, establishing a national reputation for promoting highway safety. In 1962, Mr. Ribicoff resigned from the cabinet and was elected to the U.S. Senate. In that capacity, he advocated causes such as automobile safety standards, environmental legislation, reform of the judiciary system, and the creation of Medicare.




1910 Born, New Britain, Connecticut

1933 LL.B, University of Chicago

1938-1942 Democratic Representative, Connecticut House of Representatives

1941 Judge of Hartford Police Court

1942-1943 Municipal Judge in Hartford

1945-1947 Municipal Judge in Hartford

1949-1953 Democratic representative from Connecticut, U.S. House of Representatives

1955-1961 Governor of Connecticut

1961-1962 Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare

1963-1981 Democratic Senator from Connecticut, U.S. Senate

1977-1981 Counselor on Governmental Affairs

1998 Died


Politics: The American Way,1969.
America Can Make it!,1972.
The American Medical Machine, 1972.
Petropolitics and the American Energy Shortage, 1973.
A Strategy for International Trade Negotiations, 1973.
UNCTAD IV and the New Diplomacy of Interdependence, 1976.


Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2004. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, MI: The Gale Group. 2004.