College president; U.S.cabinet secretary; foundation executive.  Born– December 6, 1935, Grove Hill.  Married–Mary Lou Chapman.  Children–two.  University of Alabama, BA, 1958, MA, 1959; Columbia University, Ph. D., 1965. Worked in various administrative capacities at the University of Alabama, 1965-69; , president, 1969-75; 1977-80. (Youngest president of a major University.)   Served as the 11th Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1975-80; CEO of the Kettering Foundation, 1981-  .  Board Member, Gerald Ford Foundation, National Issues Forums Institute, Council on Public Policy Education, Public Agenda.  Has received many awards, including one of Ten Outstanding Young Men of America, 1969, the Brotherhood Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews, election to the Alabama Academy of Honor,  and the Nicholas Murray Butler Medal in Silver from Columbia University.  Awarded 16 honorary doctorates.


Kettering Foundation Website; Alabama Academy of Honor website


For Communities to Work.  Kettering Foundation Press, 2002.

The Ecology of Democracy:  Finding Ways to Have a Stronger Hand in Shaping our Future.  Kettering, 2014.

Is There a Public for Public Schools?  Dayton, Ohio: Kettering Foundation, 1996.

Politics for People:  Finding a Responsible Public Voice.  University of Illinois Press, 1999.

Reclaiming Public Education by Reclaiming our Democracy.  Kettering, 2006.

Why Public Schools?  Whose Public Schools?  NewSouth Press, 2003.

Joint Publications:

Changing Agenda for American Higher Education.  Washington, DC:  U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1977.


A collection of papers related to F. David Mathews’ service as Secretary of HEW is held by the Library of Congress.