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  Bennett, William J. "Bill"
NameWilliam J. "Bill" Bennett
New York City, New York , United States
Born July 03, 1943 (78 years)
Last Modifed...
Jul 03, 2005 11:23am
Tags Caucasian - Catholic - Straight -
InfoWilliam John Bennett served as United States Secretary of Education from 1985 to 1988. He was also the first person to occupy the post of "drug czar".

Bennett was born in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from Williams College, and went on to get a PhD from the University of Texas in Political Philosophy. He also has a law degree from Harvard Law School.

From 1976 to 1981, he was the executive director of the National Humanities Center, a private research facility in North Carolina. In 1981, President Reagan appointed him to head the National Endowment for the Humanities. He served here until Reagan nominated him, in 1985, to be the Secretary of Education.

He was a controversial Secretary of Education. He articulated the conservative position on affirmative action, school vouchers, curriculum reform, and religion in education. He asked colleges to enforce drug laws. He supported a classical education rooted in Western culture and derided multicultural courses. He frequently criticized schools for low standards. He resigned this position in 1988, in the final days of the Reagan Administration.

He was appointed to the post of Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy in 1989 by President Bush. He was confirmed by the Senate on a 97-2 vote.

Long active in Republican Party politics, he is now a conservative author and speaker. He was frequently quoted throughout the 1990's for his books and opinion pieces. In these writings, he denounced a perceived lack of virtue in American society, particularly among young people.

In 2003, it became widely known that he was a high-stakes gambler who had lost millions of dollars in Las Vegas. This conflicted with his public image as a leading voice for conservative morals.

After Bennett's gambling habit became public knowledge, and after he admitted having lost as much as $8,000,000 within a one-year period, he claimed he was never addicted to gambling and compared his gambling to responsible drinking. Bennett did, however, say that he does not believe that his habit sets a good example and he now claims to have quit gambling for good.

Bennett's best-known work may be The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories, which he edited; he has also authored and edited ten other books including, The Children?s Book of Virtues, and The Death of Outrage: Bill Clinton and the Assault on American Ideals.

Bennett is a staunch supporter of the War on Drugs and has been criticized for his extreme views on the issue. On a radio show, he said that a listener's suggestion to behead drug dealers would be 'morally plausible'.

While a graduate student in philosophy at the University of Texas, Bennett, then a rock fan, was set up on a blind date with Janis Joplin, who was then at the height of her singing career. According to People magazine, the date "must surely rank as one of the least likely blind dates of all time." In later life, Bennett would condemn rock fans as immoral. When asked what he and Janis did on their date, Bennett said, "Hey, that really is none of your business."

He and his wife, Elayne have two sons, John and Joseph.


Title Purchase Contributor

Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

Date Category Headline Article Contributor
Oct 04, 2011 09:25am Editorial Why men are in trouble  Article Homegrown Democrat 
Apr 18, 2006 02:15pm Opinion Bennett: Pulitzer Winners Risen, Lichtblau, Priest 'Worthy of Jail'  Article RP 
Oct 04, 2005 12:00pm News Farrakhan Plans Action Against Bill Bennett  Article Servo 
Sep 30, 2005 04:00pm Statement Statement By Bill Bennett, Sep. 30, 2005  Article SC Moose 
Sep 30, 2005 04:00pm News White House Condemns Bennett's Remarks  Article Thomas Walker 
Sep 30, 2005 11:00am News Bennett: Black Abortions Would Lower Crime  Article Thomas Walker 

Importance? 0.00000 Average


  03/09/1989 U.S. Director of Drug Control Policy Won 97.98% (+95.96%)
  02/06/1985 US Secretary of Education Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
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