Elliot Lee Richardson was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on July 20, 1920. He graduated cum laude from Harvard in 1941, served in the United States Army from 1942 to 1945, and graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1947, where he was president of the Law Review. For a year he was law clerk to Judge Learned Hand of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The following year he served as law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter. From 1949 to 1953, and again from 1955 to 1956, he practiced law in Boston. In 1953 and 1954, Richardson was assistant to Massachusetts Senator Leverett Saltonstall, who was then chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He served as Assistant Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare for Legislation from 1957 to 1959, and as Acting Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare from April to July 1958. He was United States attorney for Massachusetts from 1959 to 1961, and in 1961 served as a special assistant to the Attorney General of the United States. In 1964 he was elected Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, and from 1967 to 1969 he served as attorney general of the State. Richardson was Under Secretary of State from January 24, 1969, until he assumed leadership of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare as Secretary from June 24, 1970, to January 29, 1973. He served as Secretary of Defense from January 30, 1973, to May 24, 1973. President Nixon appointed him Attorney General of the United States and he was confirmed on May 23, 1973. He resigned from the post on October 20, 1973. President Ford chose Richardson as Ambassador to Britain in 1975, and then on December 11, 1975, appointed him Secretary of Commerce. He died December 31, 1999. Born in Boston on 20 July 1920, Richardson graduated from Harvard College in 1941 and from the Harvard Law School in 1947. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942 as a private, subsequently received a commission, and left the service as a first lieutenant in 1945, after participating in the D-Day invasion of Normandy and receiving several decorations, including the Purple Heart. Richardson served as a law clerk to Justice Learned Hand of the U.S. Court of Appeals and then to Justice Felix Frankfurter of the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1949 he joined a Boston law firm, with which he was associated between service in a series of appointive and elective positions: assistant to Sen. Leverett Saltonstall of Massachusetts (1953-54); assistant secretary in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (1957-59); U.S. attorney for Massachusetts (1959-61); special assistant to the U.S. attorney general (1961); lieutenant governor (1965-67) and attorney general (1967-69) of Massachusetts; under secretary of state (1969-70); and secretary of health, education, and welfare (1970-73). President Nixon announced that he would nominate Secretary Richardson to be attorney general. It was understood that Richardson would guide the administration's handling of the Watergate investigation, which had reached a critical stage. Richardson continued as secretary of defense until 24 May, the day before he became attorney general. His tenure in that position was short also; he resigned abruptly in October 1973 after declining to support the president's decision to fire a Watergate special prosecutor Richardson had appointed. Subsequently, Richardson served President Gerald Ford as ambassador to Great Britain and secretary of commerce, and President Jimmy Carter as ambassador at large and special representative for the Law of the Sea Conference (1977-80). Thereafter, he practiced law and remained publicly active, speaking and writing widely on national security and other issues.