|4th United States Secretary of Education|
September 20, 1988 - December 12, 1990
George H. W. Bush
Lauro Fred Cavazos
January 4, 1927
Kingsville, Texas, U.S.
|Education||Texas Tech University, Lubbock (BS, MS)|
Iowa State University (PhD)
A sixth-generation Texan, he was born on the King Ranch near Kingsville, Texas, where his father served as foreman of the showcase Santa Gertrudis cattle division. He was the son of Lauro F. Cavazos, Sr., and the former Tomasa Quintanilla. Through his maternal ancestry, he is a descendant of Texas Revolution heroine Francita Alavez, the "Angel of Goliad".
He earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in zoology from Texas Tech University, and a Ph.D. in physiology in 1954 from Iowa State University (ISU) in Ames, Iowa. While in college, he was a member of Kappa Kappa Psi. Following a stint on the faculties of Tufts University and the Medical College of Virginia.
From 1975-80, he served as Dean of the Tufts University School of Medicine. From 1980 to 1988, he served as President of Texas Tech University. He was both the first alumnus and the first Hispanic to serve as Texas Tech president.
A Democrat, Cavazos served as Secretary of Education from August 1988 to December 1990 during the Republican Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations. He was forced to resign amid an investigation into improper use of frequent flyer miles in December 1990.
Following his resignation, he returned to the faculty of Tufts University where he has served as Professor of Public Health and Family Medicine since then. He is married to the former Peggy Ann Murdock. The couple has ten children and currently reside in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the brother of U.S. Army General Richard E. Cavazos.
In 2006, his alma mater Iowa State University awarded him with the Distinguished Achievement Award, their highest honors.