Department of Finance Directors

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Caspar Weinberger

March 1, 1968 to December 31, 1969

Caspar “Cap” Weinberger was appointed Director of Finance by Governor Ronald Reagan on March 1, 1968. He was born on August 18, 1917, in San Francisco, California. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in government in 1938 and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in 1941. Weinberger served as the president of Harvard’s student newspaper during his time. Weinberger later joined the U.S. Army as a private in 1941, and eventually became a captain on General Douglas MacArthur’s intelligence staff by the end of World War II.

Post-war, he represented San Francisco in the State Assembly and was involved in the creation of the Department of Water Resources and the California State Water Project. In 1962, Weinberger was chosen by Nixon to become the Chairman of the California Republican Party. He was named the Chairman of the Commission on California State Government and Organization and Economy in 1967 until he was appointed Director of Finance.

Weinberger and Reagan were reported to be quite close. Reagan purchased an oil painting by Ed La Velle, a distinguished Northern California artist, which is a depiction of the California redwoods while he was Governor of California and it hung in his private office for a time. It was later gifted to Weinberger while he was Director of Finance and remains at Finance today.

Weinberger subsequently served under President Nixon as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. During the Reagan Presidential Administration, he was appointed Secretary of Defense, receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1987 and Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire in 1988 following his contribution in cooperation during the Falklands War. Later in his career, he worked as a Chairman of Forbes magazine.