Califano Jr., Joseph A.


1979 TLS as Carter’s HEW Secretary, sending a book and setting up a meeting with the Army War College Commandant

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Autograph ID: 6789
Condition: Very Good
Description:“(b. 1931) Secretary of the Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare, founder and chairman of The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (1992). After college (Holy Cross), law school (Harvard), 3 years in Navy JAG, and 3 years in law practice, in April 1961, he became Special Asst. to the General Counsel of the Dept. of Defense, Special Asst. to the Secretary of the Army July 1962, and General Counsel of the Army July 1963. He also served as Special Asst. to the Secretary of the Army for Civil Functions, supervising the Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works Program. On April 1, 1964, Califano was appointed Special Asst. to the Secretary and Deputy Secty. of Defense. Califano monitored the March 21-25, 1965 Selma-Montgomery March which helped ensure passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Named Special Asst. to President Johnson July 26, 1965, he was LBJ’s top domestic aide to Jan. 20, 1969. He was a member of the Washington law firm Arnold & Porter 1969-71, and Williams, Connolly & Califano 1971-77. In January 1977, he became Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, serving to Aug. 1979 when dismissed by President Carter. He put HEW thru its most complete reorganization in its 25 year history: he created the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) to run Medicare & Medicaid; mounted major health promotion and disease prevention programs, inc. childhood immunization, the 1st national anti-smoking campaign, an alcoholism initiative, and issuance of the 1st Surgeon General’s Report on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention which for the first time set health goals for the American people; began collecting hundreds of millions of dollars of defaulted student loans, and instituted computerized techniques to police welfare, Medicare and Medicaid programs; worked with Congress to maintain financial integrity of the Social Security system, contain health care costs, and restructure Federal aid to elementary, secondary and higher education; and issued the 1st regulations to provide equal athletic opportunity to women under Title IX and to provide equal opportunity to the handicapped. First refusing to sign meaningful regulations for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 1st federal civil rights protection for people with disabilities, after a 25-day sit-in by more than 150 people, he signed the regulations on April 28, 1977. Secretary Califano funded the nation’s 1st free standing hospice and issued regulations to set Medicare reimbursement for hospice care. In 1979, he directed the Public Health Service to eliminate its official characterization of homosexuality as “a mental disease or defect” which immigration authorities had used to deny entry to the US because of sexual orientation. He authored 12 books.

TLS “Joe” on 9 x 6 ½ letterhead as Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Washington, February 9 1979, to Major General DeWitt C. Smith Jr., Army War College Commandant. Secretary Califano sends a book (not here)he had mentioned on “what we are about with the media and the government”, looks forward to seeing Smith at the Washington Post building for a meeting, sends (not present) list of some attendees.

DeWITT C. SMITH,JR. (1920 -1985) US Army officer, former deputy Army Chief of Staff, twice (and longest-serving) Army War College commandant 1974 -77, 1978-80. Joined the Army 1942, commissioned 2nd lieutenant, with the 4th Armored Div. in combat after Normandy to the end of the War. Wounded 3 times, awarded Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars, and 3 Purple Hearts. Discharged 1946, returned to active duty in Korea and stayed in the military. He was an aide to Chief of Staff Maxwell Taylor, served in the “Old Guard” at Fort Myer, a battalion XO and commander in Germany. He served at the Pentagon before going to the Army War College. Led a combat brigade of the 1st Infantry in Vietnam. In 1970, under his leadership, Fort Carson, Colo. was made an initial test site for the modern volunteer Army concept. After his stints at the War College, he retired in 1980.”
Type: Letter

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