Miller Center

Margaret Heckler (1983–1985) - Secretary of Health and Human Services

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She was born Margaret M. O'Shaughnessy on June 21, 1931, in Flushing, New York. She received her B.A. from Abertus Magnus College (1953) and her LL.B. from Boston College (1956). Heckler was a member of the Massachusetts Governor's Council from 1963 to 1966, and became involved in electoral politics herself, representing the Tenth District of Massachusetts in the U.S. Congress from 1966 to 1982.

During that time, she founded the Congressional Women's Caucus, which she cochaired from 1978 to 1982. She also served as secretary of health and human services (1983-1985) and as an ambassador to Ireland (1985-1989).

Citation Information

Consulting Editor

Lou Cannon

Mr. Cannon is the author of nine books, five of them on Ronald Reagan, and has been called Reagan’s definitive biographer. As a journalist, he covered the Reagan presidency for The Washington Post and the Reagan governorship of California for the San Jose Mercury-News. His books on Reagan include:

Reagan’s Disciple: George W. Bush’s Troubled Quest for a Presidential Legacy (Co-authored with Carl M. Cannon, PublicAffairs, 2008)

Governor Reagan: His Rise to Power (PublicAffairs, 2003)

Ronald Reagan: The Presidential Portfolio (PublicAffairs, 2001)

President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime (Simon and Schuster 1991, PublicAffairs, 2000)

Reagan (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1982)