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Federal Highway Administration Administrators


1956 — 1957
Administrator/Federal Highway Administration

Builder — Engineer — Humanitarian — Governor of Massachusetts — Second Secretary of Transportation — Ambassador to Italy

John Anthony Volpe, who was to become the Nation's second Secretary of Transportation, agreed to serve as interim Federal Highway Administrator from October 1956 to February 1957, pending confirmation by the U.S. Senate of Bertram D. Tallamy as Administrator. Prior to his appointment as Administrator, Mr. Volpe had served nearly four years as the Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Works.

Mr. Volpe's personal history reflects the success story of the self-made man. In 1933 he cashed a $300 insurance policy and borrowed $500 to begin a construction firm that was parlayed into a multi-million dollar organization. The Volpe firm established a national reputation for construction excellence.

Mr. Volpe was elected Governor of Massachusetts in 1960, lost in 1962, and won a second term in 1964. He then was reelected in 1966 for the first four-year term in the State's history. He was serving his third term when President Nixon swore him in on January 20, 1969, as the second Secretary of Transportation.

In 1973, John Volpe was appointed Ambassador to Italy, realizing a lifelong ambition.

List of Past Administrators