World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

John Bryson

John Bryson
37th United States Secretary of Commerce
In office
October 21, 2011 – June 21, 2012
President Barack Obama
Deputy Rebecca Blank
Preceded by Rebecca Blank (Acting)
Succeeded by Rebecca Blank (Acting)
Personal details
Born (1943-07-24) July 24, 1943
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Democratic Party
Alma mater Stanford University
Yale Law School

John E. Bryson (born July 24, 1943)[1] was the 37th United States Secretary of Commerce. Prior to this, he served as the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison and as director of The Boeing Company.

The Senate confirmed Bryson as Secretary of Commerce by a 74–26 vote on October 20, 2011.[2] He was sworn in on October 21, 2011. Bryson took a leave of absence in June 2012 for medical tests due to seizures that were related to a hit and run. On June 21, 2012 Bryson resigned because, "the work that [Commerce employees] do to help America’s entrepreneurs and businesses build our economy and create jobs is more important now than ever and I have come to the conclusion that I need to step down to prevent distractions from this critical mission."[3]


  • Early life and education 1
  • Career 2
  • Secretary of Commerce 3
    • 2012 traffic accidents and resignation 3.1
  • Later life 4
  • Personal 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life and education

Bryson's father operated a sawmill.[4] He graduated from Cleveland High School in Portland, Oregon, in 1961.[5] He received his bachelor's degree from Stanford University in 1965 and his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Yale Law School in 1969.


In 1970, with other recent Yale Law graduates, Bryson helped found and served as legal counsel for the Natural Resources Defense Council.[6][7] From 1976 to 1979, Bryson served as chairman of the California State Water Resources Control Board, and from 1979 to 1982, he served as president of the California Public Utilities Commission. In 1983 Bryson worked for the law firm of Morrison and Foerster in the San Francisco office. Bryson joined Edison International in 1984,[8] and served as director from 1990 until his retirement on July 31, 2008.[9]

Bryson was a director of The Boeing Company, W. M. Keck Foundation, and The Walt Disney Company, and a former Director/Trustee for three Western Asset Management funds at Legg Mason. He serves or has served on a number of educational, environmental and other nonprofit boards, including chairman of the California Business Roundtable, a trustee of Stanford University, a trustee of California Institute of Technology, co-chairman of the Pacific Council on International Policy, and chairman of the Public Policy Institute of California.[10][11]

Secretary of Commerce

Then-Secretary Bryson, along with President Barack Obama and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk at a press conference in the rose garden of the White House in March 2012.

On May 31, 2011, President Barack Obama nominated Bryson to succeed Gary Locke as the United States Secretary of Commerce.[12] Citing Bryson's environmental views, United States Senator James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma, put a hold on his nomination in July.[13] The Senate later reached a unanimous consent agreement to vote on Bryson's nomination, and the Senate confirmed Bryson by a 74–26 vote on October 20, 2011.[2] He was sworn in on October 21, 2011, becoming the 37th Secretary of the Department of Commerce.[14]

As Secretary of Commerce, Bryson co-chaired the White House Office of Manufacturing Policy with Gene Sperling.[15]

2012 traffic accidents and resignation

On June 9, 2012, Bryson was involved in a pair of car crashes in San Gabriel, California and Rosemead, California, which were investigated as possible felony hit and run. He is said to have been found unconscious at the site of the second crash. A Department of Commerce spokesperson confirmed he was involved in a crash, and said Bryson had suffered from a seizure.[16][17][18][19][20] Los Angeles County prosecutors announced on July 3, 2012, that no criminal charges would be pursued.[21]

On June 11, Bryson announced in a memo that he was taking a medical leave of absence. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank began serving as Acting Secretary of Commerce.[22]

On June 21, 2012, Bryson announced his resignation from the post of Secretary of Commerce.[23]

Later life

Bryson joined the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars as a Distinguished Senior Public Policy Scholar in October 2012.[24]


Bryson is married to Louise.[25] Their four daughters graduated from the Polytechnic School in Pasadena, California.[4] Bryson and his wife both served on the school's Board of Trustees.[25]


  1. ^ John E. Bryson 1943-, Reference for Business', Encyclopedia of Business 2nd edition
  2. ^ a b All 51 Democratic Senators and both independents voted for confirmation, but the Republican caucus split 21-26 against. See , U.S. Senate roll call no. 176 (112th Cong. 1st session) or votes database (112th Congress, 1st session, vote 176)Washington Post
  3. ^ "Letter from Secretary Bryson to Commerce Employees". Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Gold, Scott; Mather, Kate; Blankstein, Andrew (June 11, 2012). "Commerce Secretary Bryson faces tests after hit-and-runs". Los Angeles Times. 
  5. ^ Pope, Charles (May 31, 2011). "John Bryson brings Portland roots as nominee to lead Commerce Department". The Oregonian. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  6. ^ Ex-Environment Activist Will Take Helm at Edison, Larry B. Stammer, Michael Parrish, Times staff writers, Los Angeles Times, October 1, 1990
  7. ^ Edison International Chairman John E. Bryson to Deliver UCLA Anderson Commencement Address, June 16, UCLA Anderson, May 16, 2006
  8. ^ Schiffman, Betsy. Forbes 
  9. ^ John E. Bryson, Edison International
  10. ^ John E. Bryson, Bloomberg Businessweek
  11. ^ John E. Bryson, Public Policy Institute of California
  12. ^ Obama makes it official, Alexander Mooney, CNN, May 31, 2011
  13. ^ Senator vows to block Commerce nominee Bryson
  14. ^ Press Release, John Bryson Sworn In as 37th Secretary of Commerce
  15. ^ "John Bryson will co-chair White House's manufacturing policy office". 
  16. ^ "Hit and Run Traffic Collision Investigation Involving U.S. Secretary of Commerce".  
  17. ^ Brian Day (June 10, 2012). "Breaking: U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson suspected of felony hit-and-run following San Gabriel Valley crashes".  
  18. ^ "Commerce Secretary John Bryson accused in hit-and-run crashes".  
  19. ^ Heavey, Susan (June 11, 2012). "U.S. Commerce secretary investigated for hit-and-run car crash".  
  20. ^ "Commerce agency: Secretary John Bryson had seizure linked to crashes". The Los Angeles Times. June 11, 2012. Retrieved June 11, 2012. 
  21. ^ Faturechi, Robert; Blankstein, Andrew (July 4, 2012). "John Bryson, former Commerce secretary, won't be charged in hit-runs". Los Angeles Times. 
  22. ^ "White House: Bryson to take medical leave". USA Today. June 11, 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  23. ^ O'Keefe, Ed (June 21, 2012). "John Bryson resigns as commerce secretary, citing recent seizure".  
  24. ^ Wilson Center (2012). Secretary John Bryson Joins Wilson Center. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  25. ^ a b "L.A. Now". Los Angeles Times. June 11, 2012. 

External links

Civic offices
Preceded by
Vernon Sturgeon
President of the Public Utilities Commission of California
Succeeded by
Leonard Grimes
Business positions
Preceded by
Howard Allen
Chief Executive Officer of Edison International
Succeeded by
Theodore Craver
Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
Warren Christopher
Chairperson of Pacific Council on International Policy
Served alongside: Robert Tuttle
Succeeded by
Mickey Kantor
Political offices
Preceded by
Gary Locke
United States Secretary of Commerce
Succeeded by
Rebecca Blank
Succeeded by
Penny Pritzker
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.