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Hazel Reid O'Leary
Hazel O'Leary 2 (cropped).jpg
7th United States Secretary of Energy
In office
January 22, 1993 – January 20, 1997
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by James D. Watkins
Succeeded by Federico Peña
Personal details
Born May 17, 1937 (1937-05-17) (age 84)
Spouse(s) John F. O'Leary (deceased)
Children Carl O'Leary
Alma mater Fisk University
Rutgers School of Law-Newark

Hazel Reid O'Leary (born May 17, 1937) was the seventh United States Secretary of Energy, from 1993 to 1997. She is the first and only woman and first and only African American to hold the position.

Early life and education

Born Hazel Reid in Newport News, Virginia, she was the daughter of doctors Russell E. and Hazel Reid. She has two sisters, Edna Reid and Marina Morse; and two brothers, Louis and William Morse.

After earning a bachelor's degree at Fisk University in Nashville, O'Leary earned her law degree from Rutgers School of Law—Newark.

Marriage and family

Reid married John F. O'Leary on April 24, 1980. He was a former deputy energy secretary and died in 1987. They have a son named Carl.


O'Leary worked as a prosecutor in New Jersey and later worked for the consulting/accounting firm of Coopers & Lybrand. During the Carter Administration, O'Leary was made assistant administrator of the Federal Energy Administration, general counsel of the Community Services Administration, and administrator of the Economic Regulatory Administration at the Department of Energy.

In 1981, O'Leary and her husband established the consulting firm of O'Leary & Associates, where she served as vice president and general counsel. From 1989 to 1993, she worked as an executive vice president of the Northern States Power Company.

In 1993 President Bill Clinton picked O'Leary as Secretary of Energy.

In 2004, O'Leary was selected as President of her undergraduate alma mater, Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Preceded by
James D. Watkins
United States Secretary of Energy
Succeeded by
Federico Peña

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