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Mickey Kantor

In office
April 12, 1996 – January 21, 1997
Preceded by Ronald H. Brown
Succeeded by William M. Daley

In office
1993 – 1997
Preceded by Carla A. Hills
Succeeded by Charlene Barshefsky

Born August 7, 1939 (1939-08-07) (age 70)
Nashville, Tennessee
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Valerie Woods Kantor (died 1978)
Heidi Schulman (since 1982)
Children Leslie, Douglas, and Russell, (died 1988) from first marriage
and Alix (from second marriage)
Residence Washington, DC[1][2 ]
Alma mater Vanderbilt U.,
Georgetown U.
Religion Jewish

Michael "Mickey" Kantor (born August 7, 1939) is an American politician and lawyer. After serving as the Clinton-Gore campaign chair in 1992, Kantor was appointed United States Trade Representative, holding that office from 1993 to 1997. He was, in 1996 and 1997, United States Secretary of Commerce.

Life and career

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, he holds a B.A. in business and economics from Vanderbilt University (where he pledged to Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity), earned in 1961. He then served four years as an officer in the United States Navy, and subsequently earned a J.D. from Georgetown University in 1968. Initially, Kantor worked for the Legal Services Corporation, providing legal assistance to migrant farm workers. It was during this time that he first met Hillary Clinton. From 1976-1993, he practiced law with the Los Angeles law firm of Manatt, Phelps, Phillips & Kantor (now Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP), and was active in Democratic politics and fundraising. He also co-founded the Los Angeles Conservation Corps.

An advocate of free trade, Kantor, as Trade Representative, led U.S. negotiations that created the World Trade Organization (WTO), such as the Uruguay Round, and North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). He also engaged in organizating the Miami Summit of the Americas and three meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, including the U.S.-hosted First Leaders' Meeting. With the European Commission of the newly formed European Union, he expanded the trans-Atlantic market.

Kantor practices law at the Washington DC office of Mayer Brown [1][2 ] , an international law firm based in Chicago.

Kantor has been married to broadcast journalist Heidi Schulman since 1982, following the death of his first wife, Valerie Woods Kantor in a 1978 plane crash in San Diego[3][4]. He has children Leslie, Douglas (from the first marriage), and Alix (from the second marriage); and grandchildren Ryan, Jackson, and Zack. Another son from Valerie, Russell, died in a single-car crash in October, 1988, while a senior in high school.[4]


  1. ^ a b ""Profile: Mickey Kantor" on "whoswholegal"". Retrieved 2008-10-07.  
  2. ^ a b ""Profile: Mayer Brown LLP" on "whoswholegal"". Retrieved 2008-10-07.  
  3. ^ "In Memoriam." From The Classes. Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY. March, 1979. p. 30.
  4. ^ a b "Son of Activist Kantor, 3 Others Killed in Crash." Los Angeles Times. October 30, 1988. Metro, p. 6.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Ronald H. Brown
United States Secretary of Commerce
Served under: Bill Clinton

April 12, 1996 – January 21, 1997
Succeeded by
William M. Daley
Government offices
Preceded by
Carla A. Hills
United States Trade Representative
1993 – 1997
Succeeded by
Charlene Barshefsky


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