Thomas Kean biography
SynopsisBorn into a family of politicians, Republican Party politician Thomas Kean served as the 48th Governor of New Jersey from 1982 to 1990. After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, U.S. President George W. Bush appointed him to serve as the Chairman of the 9/11 Commission. After completing his second term as Governor, he served as the president of Drew University.
Republican politician, governor, Chairman of the 9/11 Commission. Born Thomas Howard Kean on April 21, 1935 in New York City. Thomas Kean grew up in a family of governors, Senators and Congressmen. He attended Princeton University and Columbia University and worked as a teacher before embarking on his own political career.
In 1967, Kean was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly. He lost his 1977 bid for New Jersey Governor, but won the election in 1981 and again in 1985. Following his second term, Kean served as President of Drew University, a small liberal arts college in New Jersey, while nurturing his political career. In 1997, he was appointed as an Advisory Board member of President Clinton's One America Initiative, designed to ease domestic racial tension.
Kean stepped onto the global stage in 2002, when President Bush appointed him as Chairman of the 9/11 Commission, which was responsible for investigating the causes of the September 11, 2001 attacks and providing recommendations to prevent future terrorist attacks. In 2004, the Commission concluded that the 9/11 terror attacks could have been prevented, laying blame in part with the CIA and FBI.
In 2004, Kean and fellow Commissioner Lee H. Hamilton published a book, Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission, which accused the Pentagon and Federal Aviation Administration of repeatedly making misstatements during Commission interviews and possible obstruction of justice. In 2006, Kean was a paid consultant and executive producer for the ABC miniseries, The Path to 9/11. The docudrama was criticized for its factual errors and many believed that it was inappropriate for Kean to be involved in the project.
In recent years, Kean has been accused of fiscal mismanagement as a member of the board of UnitedHealth Group. He currently sits on several corporate boards, including ARAMARK, Hess Corporation, Pepsi Bottling Group and Franklin Templeton Investments.
Kean and his wife Deborah have three children, including New Jersey State Senator Tom Kean Jr. Kean is also a weekly columnist for Newark??s Star-Ledger.