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Remarks at the Swearing In of Anthony J. Celebrezze as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare.

July 31, 1962

MR. SECRETARY, I want to express our great pleasure at removing the Mayor from the position of Mayor of Cleveland and making him Secretary of HEW, which represents, I think, certainly the most responsible assignment that the Mayor has faced in very busy and important work in his lifetime, and also represents a great opportunity to be of service to millions of Americans who are directly affected by the kind of department over which he will be administering.

The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, the very words themselves indicate the nature of the responsibilities which the Secretary will face. It represents an extremely difficult administrative job. There are a number of agencies which deal with different phases of health, education, and welfare. They have been wisely joined together for organizational purposes, but there is a major administrative responsibility before the Secretary.

I think that his work as a State legislator in Ohio, as mayor again and again, re-elected by the people by overwhelming majorities, indicates his very keen knowledge of the day-to-day problems of the people whom he will now be serving. His leadership of the Mayors' Conference, of the Municipal Conference, all of this indicates the high regard which his fellow mayors had for him, so I think we are extremely fortunate to have Mayor Celebrezze.

We appreciate his willingness to resign his position to come with us. We are grateful to the people of Cleveland for relinquishing him after having voted for him by nearly 75 percent, and I think that the administration will be enlivened by his sense of purpose and vitality and public commitment.

So, Mr. Secretary, before all the members of your family and friends from not only Cleveland, but all parts of the country, we are delighted to welcome you and to officially give you this very sober commitment as Secretary of HEW.

Note: The President spoke at 10 a.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House.

John F. Kennedy, Remarks at the Swearing In of Anthony J. Celebrezze as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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