Samuel K. Skinner

Samuel K. Skinner

Samuel Knox Skinner
10th United States Secretary of Transportation
In office
February 6, 1989 – December 15, 1991
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by James H. Burnley IV
Succeeded by Andrew Card
15th White House Chief of Staff
In office
December 16, 1991 – August 23, 1992
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by John H. Sununu
Succeeded by James Baker
Personal details
Born (1938-06-10) June 10, 1938
Chicago, Illinois
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Honey Jacobs Skinner
Children Thomas V. Skinner
Steven K. Skinner
Jane Skinner
Samuel J. Skinner
William C. Skinner
Alma mater University of Illinois
DePaul University
Occupation Lawyer, public official, businessman
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1960-1961
Rank Lieutenant

Samuel Knox Skinner (born June 10, 1938) is an American politician, lawyer and businessman. Skinner served as George H. W. Bush.


  • Early life and career 1
  • Administration 2
  • Family 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life and career

Skinner was born in Chicago, Illinois, on June 10, 1938, the son of Imelda Jane Curran and her husband, Vernon Orlo Skinner. He grew up in Wheaton, Illinois, and graduated from Wheaton Community High School in 1956.[1] He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science in accounting. He was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha, Beta Eta chapter at the University of Illinois. Upon graduation, he served as a lieutenant and a tank platoon leader in the United States Army in 1960-1961. He graduated from DePaul University Law School in 1966, where he served on the law review. Skinner has been involved in the Boy Scouts most of his life, earning the Eagle Scout award as a youth in Troop 35, in Wheaton, and being honored with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award and Silver Buffalo Award as an adult.

From 1968 to 1975, Skinner served in the office of the President's Commission on Organized Crime.

He was CEO of Commonwealth Edison, CEO of US Freightways, and is currently on the board of directors of Navigant Consulting, Express Scripts, Echo Global Logistics, Virgin America, MedAssets, and the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE). Skinner also practiced with the Chicago-based law firm Hopkins & Sutter. He is currently Of Counsel at the law firm of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, and a Commissioner of the Department of Defense's Base Realignment and Closure Commission.


Skinner was instrumental in developing President Bush's National Transportation Policy and the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA), which served as the catalyst for the whole ITS industry.

In that capacity, he served as chief executive officer of a cabinet-level federal department with a budget of over $30 billion and a workforce of 105,000 people. As Secretary of Transportation, Skinner was credited with numerous successes, including the development of the President's National Transportation Policy and the passage of landmark aviation and surface transportation legislation. He also issued regulations mandating wheelchair lifts on buses.

He also developed the "open skies" policy of the United States that liberalized U.S. international policy and significantly increased the number of international flights to and from the U.S. In addition, Skinner acted as the President's point person in numerous crisis situations, including the Eastern Air Lines strike, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the northern California earthquake, Hurricane Hugo, and the 1991 national rail strike. Skinner's role in these emergencies earned him the moniker "The Master of Disaster". Washingtonian magazine twice gave Skinner its highest ranking for his performance as Secretary of Transportation.


Skinner and his first wife, Susan Ann Thomas, had three children. His son, Thomas V. Skinner, is the former head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's national compliance program and director of the EPA's region 5. His daughter, Jane Skinner Goodell, is a former news anchor on Fox News Channel's Happening Now and the wife of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.[2] Another son, Steven K. Skinner, is the CEO of KemperSports, a privately owned company that manages over 100 golf courses across the country. Skinner currently resides in Winnetka, Illinois with his wife, Honey, and his two sons, Samuel and William. Samuel is a junior at Duke University and William is a freshman at Harvard University.


  1. ^ Mehler, Neil H. (December 9, 1991). "Wheaton Pals Recall `Good Guy` Skinner". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  2. ^ Schefter, Adam (August 8, 2006). "Goodell now comes to the forefront". NFL. Archived from the original on August 14, 2006. Retrieved October 22, 2012. 


  • Gattuso, James L. (1990). "Heritage Foundation Policy Research and Analysis". Sam Skinner's Sensible National Transportation Strategy. Heritage Foundation. Retrieved February 17, 2006. 
  • Warde, Anne (1999). "Heritage Foundation Policy Research and Analysis". Sam Skinner joins Board of Odetics ITS. Its America. Retrieved February 17, 2006. 
  • "Sam Skinner". NNDB database. Retrieved February 20, 2006. 

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
James H. Burnley IV
U.S. Secretary of Transportation
Served under: George H. W. Bush

February 6, 1989 – December 13, 1991
Succeeded by
Andrew Card
Preceded by
John H. Sununu
White House Chief of Staff
Served under: George H. W. Bush

December 16, 1991 – August 23, 1992
Succeeded by
James Baker