David M. Kennedy

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David K. Kennedy mormon
David Matthew Kennedy (July 21, 1915 – May 1, 1996) was a businessman, economist and United States Cabinet secretary. He also served for several years as the special ambassador of the First Presidency of the Mormon Church, a position that was created uniquely for him.

Born in Randolph, Utah, he attended public school and graduated from Weber College, which was then owned by the Church, in 1928. He served a two-year mission to England. Then he earned master's and law degrees from George Washington University in 1935 and 1937. He graduated from the Stonier Graduate School of Banking of Rutgers University in 1939.

He spent most of his career in the private sector with the bank Continental Illinois, beginning in the Bond department and rising to CEO.

He died from cardiovascular disease in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1996.

The David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies at Brigham Young University is named for Kennedy.

Early life

Kennedy was born in Randolph, Utah, where his father George Kennedy was a rancher and his grandfathers John Kennedy and Peter Johnson had jointly formed the Bank of Randolph.

Kennedy's mother, Katherine, was ill much of the time he was growing up and he largely grew up in Kaysville, Utah, and then Ogden, Utah, spending much time taking care of his mother.

Kennedy married Lenora Bingham in the Salt Lake Temple in November 1924. In January 1925 he left to serve a mission in the United Kingdom. He served his entire mission in the mission office at Liverpool. His mission presidents were James E. Talmage and John A. Widtsoe.[1]

Government service

Kennedy served as a special assistant on debt management to U.S. Secretary of the Treasury George M. Humphrey. He also served on the staff of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve system from 1930 to 1946,[2] ending up as assistant to the Chairman.

In October 1962, President John F. Kennedy (no relation) appointed him a member of a private corporation to own and operate the United States' share of a global satellite communication system. He was elected to the permanent board of directors in 1964.

President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1969 appointed him chairman of the Commission on Budgetary Concepts, whose recommendations were adopted as standard government budgetary practice.

Kennedy was nominated by President Richard Nixon to be the 60th Secretary of the Treasury. He served from 1969 until 1971.

Kennedy served as the U.S. Ambassador to NATO from March 1972 to February 1973.

He founded the US-Taiwan Business Council in 1976 and served as its Chairman for fourteen years until 1990.

Church service

He also served as a special representative of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[3] This assignment required him to represent the Church around the world, meeting with government and ecclesiastical leaders.


  1. Palmer, Spencer J., The Expanding Church, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1978) p. 65
  2. Sobel, Robert. Biographical Dictionary of the United States Executive Branch, 1774-1977, (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1977) p. 199-200
  3. David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies


  • David Matthew Kennedy: Banker, Statesman, Churchman by Martin Berkeley Hickman (ISBN 0-87579-093-3)
  • Garr, Arnold K., et. al Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History. p. 603-604.

External links