Bennett, William J.

Bennett, William J. (John)

(1943–  ) federal official; born in New York City. Outspoken and controversial, as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (1981–85) he reversed liberal policies; as (1985–88) U.S. secretary of education Bennett promoted a conservative agenda, cutting federal student aid and urging schools to become a force for moral education. As President Bush's "drug czar" (1989–91), he coordinated the "war" against drugs, but resigned in frustration.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.