JFKWHP-KN-C17531 (crop): President Kennedy Meets with Alex Rose and Secretary of Labor Arthur Goldberg (Pictured: Arthur Goldberg), 13 April 1961

Arthur Goldberg was appointed Secretary of Labor by President Kennedy in 1961. A rising star in the Democratic Party, Goldberg had already established a name for himself as General Counsel for the CIO and the United Steelworkers of America. A year later, President Kennedy nominated Goldberg to the Supreme Court. In this capacity, Goldberg dealt with many cases involving civil rights, which had become the most pressing domestic issue in 1962. In 1965, under pressure from President Johnson, Justice Goldberg resigned his lifetime position on the Supreme Court to become United States Ambassador to the United Nations. Frustrated by his efforts to bring peace to Vietnam, Goldberg resigned from his ambassadorship in 1968 and returned to practicing law. In 1977 President Jimmy Carter appointed Goldberg United States Ambassador to the Belgrade Conference on Human Rights.



1908 Born, Chicago, Illinois

1929 B. S. L., Northwestern University

1929 Admitted to Illinois State Bar

1929-1941 Practiced law privately

1930 J.D., Northwestern University

1937 Admitted to Supreme Court Bar

1942-1944 Served to Major, U.S. Army, Office of Strategic Services

1945-1961 Partner, Goldberg, Devoe, Shadur & Mikva

1945-1961 General Counsel, Congress of Industrial Organizations

1948-1961 General Counsel, United Steel Workers of America

1955-1961 Special Counsel and General Counsel of Industrial Union Department, AFL-CIO

1961-1962 U.S. Secretary of Labor

1962-1965 Associate Justice of the Supreme Court

1965-1968 U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations

1968-1969 Charles Evans Hughes Professor, Princeton University

1968-1990 Chairman, Truman Center for the Advancement of Peace

1969-1970 Distinguished Professor, Columbia University

1970 Defeated as Democratic candidate for Governor of New York

1971-1973 University Professor of Law and Diplomacy, American University

1974-1990 Visiting Distinguished Professor, Hastings College of the Law

1977 United States Ambassador to the Belgrade Conference on Human Rights

1990 Died


AFL-CIO: Labor United, 1956.
The Defenses of Freedom: The Public Papers of Arthur J. Goldberg (edited by Daniel Patrick Moynihan).
Equal Justice: The Warren Era of the Supreme Court, 1971.
Court (Introduction by Archibald Cox), 1986.


Contemporary Authors Online. The Gale Group, 1999.

See also

Archives and Manuscripts
Oral History Project