Nisha Rathode (Editor)

Peter George Peterson

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
President  Richard Nixon
Name  Peter Peterson
Preceded by  Maurice Stans
Role  Businessman

Succeeded by  Frederick B. Dent
Preceded by  David Rockefeller
Children  Holly Peterson
Peter George Peterson Peter G Peterson39s Last AntiDebt Crusade The New York
Succeeded by  Carla A. Hills / Robert E. Rubin
Born  June 5, 1926 (age 89) Kearney, Nebraska (1926-06-05)
Spouse  Joan Ganz Cooney (m. 1990)
Parents  Venet Peterson, George Peterson
Books  Running on Empty: How the, Will America Grow up, The Education of an Am, The Education of an Am, Deficits - debts - and demographics
Similar People  Stephen A Schwarzman, Joan Ganz Cooney, Holly Peterson, C Fred Bergsten, Hamilton E James

Net worth  1.77 billion USD (2015)

American financie Peter George Peterson Died at 91

Peter George "Pete" Peterson (Peter Petropoulos) (born June 5, 1926) is an American businessman, investment banker, philanthropist, and author, who served as United States Secretary of Commerce from February 29, 1972 to February 1, 1973. He is also known as founder and principal funder of The Peter G. Peterson Foundation, which he established in 2008 with a $1 billion endowment. The group focuses on raising public awareness about U.S. fiscal-sustainability issues related to federal deficits, entitlement programs, and tax policies. In recognition of his support, the influential Peterson Institute for International Economics was named in his honor in 2006.


Peter George Peterson archivefortunecomassetsi2cdnturnercommoney

Before serving as Secretary of Commerce, Peterson was Chairman and CEO of Bell & Howell, from 1963 to 1971. From 1973 to 1984 he was Chairman and CEO of Lehman Brothers. In 1985 he co-founded the private equity firm, the Blackstone Group, which went public in 2007. Peterson was Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations until retiring in 2007, after being named chairman emeritus. In 2008, Peterson was ranked 149th on the "Forbes 400 Richest Americans" with a net worth of $2.8 billion.

Peter George Peterson QA With Pete Peterson Chairman of the Peter G Peterson Foundation

Peterson has been named the most influential billionaire in U.S. politics.

Peter George Peterson Debate Moderators Under the Spell of DeficitObsessed Billionaire

On August 4, 2010, it was announced that he had signed "The Giving Pledge." He was one of 40 billionaires, led by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, who agreed to give at least half their wealth to charity. Most of his giving has been to his own foundation, The Peter G. Peterson Foundation, which focuses on raising public awareness about long-term fiscal sustainability issues.

Peter George Peterson Peter Peterson Whos Who in RCA VideoDisc

Life and career

Peterson was born in Greece and came to America at 17 years of age, the son of Venet and George Peterson, Greek immigrants. His father opened and ran a diner in 1923 after changing his name from Georgios Petropoulos. After college, Peterson was first married from 1948 to 1950 to Kris Krengel, a journalism student at Northwestern University. In 1953, he married psychologist Sally Hornbogen Peterson with whom he had four sons: John Scott, James, David and Michael; and one daughter, the writer Holly Peterson. The Petersons divorced in 1979. The following year, Peterson married Joan Ganz Cooney, a creator of Sesame Street. In his autobiography he recalls his business and private life in which he blames himself for the failure of two of his three marriages but is now proud of having grown close to his children.


Peterson, after transferring out of MIT, received an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, graduating in 1947, summa cum laude. He joined Market Facts, a Chicago-based market research firm, in 1948. In 1951, he received an M.B.A. degree from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, before returning to Market Facts as an executive vice president.


Peterson joined advertising agency McCann Erickson in 1953, again in Chicago, where he served as a director. He joined movie-equipment maker Bell and Howell Corporation in 1958 as Executive Vice President. He later succeeded Charles H. Percy as Chairman and CEO, positions he held from 1963 to 1971. He has been a director of a number of other corporations.

In 1969, he was invited by philanthropist John D. Rockefeller III, CFR Chairman John J. McCloy, and former Treasury Secretary Douglas Dillon to chair a Commission on Foundations and Private Philanthropy, which became known as the Peterson Commission. Among its recommendations adopted by the government were that foundations be required annually to disburse a minimum proportion of their funds.

In 1971, he was named Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs by U.S. President Richard Nixon. In 1972, he became the Secretary of Commerce, a position he held for one year. At that time he also assumed the Chairmanship of President Nixon’s National Commission on Productivity and was appointed U.S. Chairman of the U.S.–Soviet Commercial Commission.

He was Chairman and CEO of Lehman Brothers (1973–1977) and Lehman Brothers, Kuhn, Loeb Inc. (1977–1984).

In 1985, he co-founded with Stephen A. Schwarzman the prominent private equity and investment management firm, the Blackstone Group, and was for many years its chairman. It was the fortune he made at Blackstone, including the $1.9 billion he received when it went public in 2007, that funded many of his charitable and political causes.

In 1992, he was one of the co-founders of the Concord Coalition, a bipartisan citizens' group that advocates reduction of the federal budget deficit. Following record deficits under President George W. Bush, Peterson commented in 2004, "I remain a Republican, but the Republicans have become a far more theological, faith-directed party, not troubling with evidence."

In February 1994, President Bill Clinton named Peterson as a member of the Bi-Partisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform co-chaired by Senators Bob Kerrey and John Danforth. He also serves as Co-Chair of the Conference Board Commission on Public Trust and Private Enterprises (Co-Chaired by John Snow).

He succeeded David Rockefeller as Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations in 1985 and served until his retirement in 2007. He currently serves as Trustee of the Rockefeller family's Japan Society and of the Museum of Modern Art, and was previously on the board of Rockefeller Center Properties, Inc.

He is founding Chairman of the Peterson Institute for International Economics (formerly the "Institute for International Economics", renamed in his honor in 2006), and a Trustee of the Committee for Economic Development. He was also Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York between 2000 and 2004.

In 2008, he founded the Peter G. Peterson Foundation (PGPF), an organization devoted to spreading public awareness on fiscal sustainability issues related to the national debt, federal deficits, Social Security policy, and tax policies. PGPF distributed the 2008 documentary film I.O.U.S.A., and did outreach to the 2008 presidential candidates.

Peterson funds The Fiscal Times, a news website that reports on current economic issues, including the federal budget, the deficit, entitlements, health care, personal savings, taxation, and the global economy. Fiscal Times contributors and editors include several veteran economics reporters for The New York Times and The Washington Post.


In 2006, Peterson was honored with the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars of the Smithsonian Institution. The same year he was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


From 2007 through 2011, Peterson is reported to have contributed $458 million to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, to promote the cause of fiscal responsibility, which its opponents regard as unjustified fiscal austerity.


  • "Why I’m Giving Away $1 Billion", Newsweek, May 30, 2009
  • "You Can't Take It with You", Newsweek, April 7, 2008
  • "Old habits must change", The Banker, 3 January 2005
  • Articles published in "Foreign Affairs" 1994–2004.
  • Books

  • Facing Up: How to Rescue the Economy from Crushing Debt and Restore the American Dream. Simon & Schuster; First Edition (November 8, 1993). ISBN 978-0-671-79642-6
  • Will America Grow up Before it Grows Old: How the Coming Social Security Crisis Threatens You, Your Family and Your Country. Random House; 1 edition (October 8, 1996). ISBN 978-0-679-45256-0
  • Gray Dawn: How the Coming Age Wave Will Transform America—and the World. Three Rivers Press (September 26, 2000). ISBN 978-0-8129-9069-0
  • On Borrowed Time: How the Growth in Entitlement Spending Threatens America's Future with Neil Howe. Transaction Publishers (May 1, 2004). ISBN 978-0-7658-0575-1
  • Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It. Picador (June 16, 2005). ISBN 978-0-312-42462-6
  • The Education of an American Dreamer: How a Son of Greek Immigrants Learned His Way from a Nebraska Diner to Washington, Wall Street, and Beyond. Twelve (June 8, 2009). ISBN 978-0-446-55603-3
  • References

    Peter George Peterson Wikipedia