|19th United States Secretary of Commerce|
January 21, 1969 - February 15, 1972
|Director of the Bureau of the Budget|
March 18, 1958 - January 21, 1961
|President||Dwight D. Eisenhower|
|David E. Bell|
Maurice Hubert Stans
March 22, 1908
Shakopee, Minnesota, U.S.
|Died||April 14, 1998 (aged 90)|
Pasadena, California, U.S.
Maurice Hubert Stans (March 22, 1908 – April 14, 1998) was an American accountant, high-ranking civil servant, Cabinet member, and political organizer. He served as the finance chairman for the Committee to Re-elect the President, working for the re-election of Richard Nixon. He was convicted on multiple counts under the Federal Election Campaign Act that were revealed during the larger investigation into the Watergate scandal.
Stans was born on March 22, 1908 in Shakopee, Minnesota, the son of James Hubert Stans and the former Mathilda Nyssen Stans. His father was the only child of Jan Hendrik Stans and Maria Catharina Crijns, a Belgian couple who immigrated to the United States in 1880. Stans graduated from Shakopee High School in 1925. He worked at a local foundry before traveling to Chicago to find work with friend, Otto F. Schultz. The same year he began work as a stenographer and bookkeeper for a Chicago importer, while attending evening classes at Northwestern University. In 1928 he joined the Chicago-based firm of Alexander Grant and Company, certified public accountants, and continued his part-time studies at Columbia University while working at the firm's New York City office. He attended Columbia from 1928 to 1930. He was an executive partner with the Alexander Grant & Co. accounting firm in Chicago from 1940 until 1955. He was a Certified Public Accountant, licensed in New York, Ohio and Virginia. He was President of the American Institute of Accountants from 1954 to 1955 and won the Gold Medal for Distinguished Service to the Profession in 1954. He was inducted into the Accounting Hall of Fame in 1960.
|1973 Watergate Hearings; 1973-06-13; Part 1 of 3, 1:36:09, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC|
He later served as U.S. deputy postmaster general from 1955 to 1957, in the Dwight Eisenhower administration. He served as deputy director of the Bureau of the Budget (as OMB was known before 1970) from 1957 to 1958, and director of the Bureau of the Budget from 1958 to 1961, still under Eisenhower. He joined the Nixon administration as Secretary of Commerce from 1969 to 1972. In 1961, Stans was one of the founders of the African Wildlife Foundation.
In mid-February 1972, he resigned as Secretary of Commerce, to chair the finance committee of the Committee for the Re-Election of the President (CRP), Richard Nixon's re-election campaign. Money that he raised for the campaign was clearly used to finance some of the illegal Watergate activities. However, Stans always maintained, and it has not been proven to the contrary, that he had no knowledge of the various Watergate crimes.
It was rumored but never confirmed that Stans was the source for raising the million dollars in cash which Nixon kept in the White House safe. This cash was used to pay Howard Hunt and the other Watergate burglars, who eventually blackmailed the White House. It was also rumored, but never confirmed that Stans raised the cash from a list of large contributors by threatening IRS audits.
On 12 March 1975, Stans pleaded guilty to three counts of violating the reporting sections of the Federal Election Campaign Act and two counts of accepting illegal campaign contributions and was fined $5,000. The convictions were related to improperly giving campaign funds to G. Gordon Liddy, though Stans insisted that his guilt ended there and that he was not aware of Liddy's plan to use the money for what became the Watergate break in.
He later authored a book, The Terrors of Justice: The Untold Side of Watergate, in which he detailed his side of the Watergate story.
Stans died at the Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, California on April 14, 1998, at age 90, following a congestive heart failure. He was preceded in death by his first wife Kathleen and first-born daughter, Maureen Stans Helmick. He was survived by his wife Penny, his daughter Terry, her husband Bill and their three children, his sons Steve and Ted, his son-in-law, Walter E. Helmick Jr., and his grandchildren, Shelia Helmick and Peter Helmick, and Peter's wife Lois and their three children: Rebecca Tafline, Samantha Helmick, and Deidre Helmick.