Romney, George W.


1982 AQS slightly misquoting Dwight D. Eisenhower


Type: AQS
Description:(1907-1995) Businessman, GOP politician, American Motors Corp. chairman & president 1954-62, 43rd Michigan governor 1963-69, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development 1969-73. He was father of former Mass. governor, 2012 GOP presidential candidate and current Utah US Senator Mitt Romney. Born to polygamous parents in the Mormon colonies in Mexico, his family returned to the US when he was a child and ended up in Salt Lake City. Romney served as a Mormon missionary in the UK, never graduating from college. In 1939 he moved to Detroit and became chief spokesman for the automobile industry during WW II, and led a cooperative arrangement in which companies could share production improvements. He joined Nash-Kelvinator 1948, becoming CEO of its successor, American Motors Corp., in 1954. He turned around the struggling firm by focusing all efforts on the popular compact Rambler and became one of the 1st high-profile, media-savvy business executives. Devoutly religious, he presided over the Detroit Stake of the Mormon Church. He was VP of the Michigan 1961-62 state constitutional convention and was elected Governor in 1962, re-elected in 1964 & 1966. He overhauled Michigan’s financial and revenue structure, greatly expanded size of state government and introduced the 1st state income tax. Romney strongly supported Civil rights, helped create the 1st Michigan civil rights commission, and briefly represented moderate Republicans against conservative Barry Goldwater during the 1964 presidential election. In the 1964 election, he cut separated from the national ticket, refusing to appear on the same stage with Goldwater. He requested US troop intervention during the 1967 Detroit riot. Initially a front runner for the 1968 GOP presidential nomination, the 1st Mormon to stage a credible run for the presidency, he was an ineffective campaigner and trailed Nixon in polls. Romney’s greatest weakness was a lack of foreign policy expertise and a clear position on the Vietnam War. In an Aug. 1967 interview, he remarked off-handedly that his earlier support for the Vietnam War was due to “brainwashing” by military and diplomatic officials in Vietnam. He disavowed the war and reversed himself from his earlier stated belief that it was “morally right and necessary”. His campaign faltered and he withdrew in early 1968. After Nixon’s election, he appointed Romney as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and his ambitious plans for housing production increases for the poor, and for open housing to desegregate suburbs, were modestly successful but often thwarted by Nixon. He left the administration in 1973 after Nixon’s 2nd inauguration and returned to private life, advocating volunteerism and public service, and served as a regional representative of the Twelve within his church.

AQS on his 10 ½ x 7 ¼ personal letterhead, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, March 8 1982: “’To blend without coercion the individual good with the public good is the essence of citizenship in a free society.’ So said Dwight D. Eisenhower.” In his Columbia University Inaugural Address of 12 October 1948, Eisenhower actually said: “To blend, without coercion, the individual good and the common good is the essence of citizenship in a free country.” With Romney’s hand-addressed envelope.

Condition: Very good, 2 mail folds

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