About This Author

John Gardner

John W. Gardner, U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare.jpg

6th United States Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare

In officeAugust 18, 1965 – March 1, 1968

President

Lyndon B. Johnson

Preceded by

Anthony J. Celebrezze

Succeeded by

Wilbur J. Cohen

Personal details

Born

John William Gardner
October 8, 1912 Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Died

February 16, 2002 Palo Alto, California, U.S.

Resting place

San Francisco National Cemetery

Political party

Republican

Spouse

Aida Gardner

Education

Stanford UniversityUniversity of California, Berkeley

Awards

Presidential Medal of FreedomPublic Welfare Medal

John William Gardner was Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare under President Lyndon Johnson. He was a strong advocate for citizen participation who founded Common Cause and became known as "the father of campaign finance reform".

A native of California, Gardner attended Stanford University. As an undergrad he set several swimming records and won a number of Pacific Coast championships, and graduated "with great distinction." After earning a Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley in 1938, Dr. Gardner taught at Connecticut College and at Mount Holyoke.

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Discover John W. Gardner Quotes and Sayings

The hallmark of our age is the tension between aspirations and sluggish institutions. - John W. Gardner

The hallmark of our age is the tension between aspirations and sluggish institutions.

John W. Gardner

age
Life is the art of drawing without an eraser. - John W. Gardner

Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.

John W. Gardner

life experience art
Leaders come in many forms, with many styles and diverse qualities. There are quiet leaders and leaders one can hear in the next county. Some find strength in eloquence, some in judgment, some in courage. - John W. Gardner

Leaders come in many forms, with many styles and diverse qualities. There are quiet leaders and leaders one can hear in the next county. Some find strength in eloquence, some in judgment, some in courage.

John W. Gardner

strength courage
Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants. - John W. Gardner

Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants.

John W. Gardner

education
The ultimate goal of the educational system is to shift to the individual the burden of pursing his own education. This will not be a widely shared pursuit until we get over our odd conviction that education is what goes on in school buildings and nowhere else. - John W. Gardner

The ultimate goal of the educational system is to shift to the individual the burden of pursing his own education. This will not be a widely shared pursuit until we get over our odd conviction that education is what goes on in school buildings and nowhere else.

John W. Gardner

education
I am entirely certain that twenty years from now we will look back at education as it is practiced in most schools today and wonder that we could have tolerated anything so primitive. - John W. Gardner

I am entirely certain that twenty years from now we will look back at education as it is practiced in most schools today and wonder that we could have tolerated anything so primitive.

John W. Gardner

education
One of the reasons people stop learning is that they become less and less willing to risk failure. - John W. Gardner

One of the reasons people stop learning is that they become less and less willing to risk failure.

John W. Gardner

learning failure
America's greatness has been the greatness of a free people who shared certain moral commitments. Freedom without moral commitment is aimless and promptly self-destructive. - John W. Gardner

America's greatness has been the greatness of a free people who shared certain moral commitments. Freedom without moral commitment is aimless and promptly self-destructive.

John W. Gardner

freedom
The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water. - John W. Gardner

The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.

John W. Gardner

society good
It is hard to feel individually responsible with respect to the invisible processes of a huge and distant government. - John W. Gardner

It is hard to feel individually responsible with respect to the invisible processes of a huge and distant government.

John W. Gardner

respect government
When one may pay out over two million dollars to presidential and Congressional campaigns, the U.S. government is virtually up for sale. - John W. Gardner

When one may pay out over two million dollars to presidential and Congressional campaigns, the U.S. government is virtually up for sale.

John W. Gardner

politics government
We are all faced with a series of great opportunities - brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems. - John W. Gardner

We are all faced with a series of great opportunities - brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.

John W. Gardner

great
True happiness involves the full use of one's power and talents. - John W. Gardner

True happiness involves the full use of one's power and talents.

John W. Gardner

power motivational happiness
History never looks like history when you are living through it. - John W. Gardner

History never looks like history when you are living through it.

John W. Gardner

history
For every talent that poverty has stimulated it has blighted a hundred. - John W. Gardner

For every talent that poverty has stimulated it has blighted a hundred.

John W. Gardner

politics
If you have some respect for people as they are, you can be more effective in helping them to become better than they are. - John W. Gardner

If you have some respect for people as they are, you can be more effective in helping them to become better than they are.

John W. Gardner

respect