Secretary of the Air Force from June 1978 to May 18, 1979
John C. Stetson was the 12th secretary of the Air Force.
He was born in Chicago, Ill., in 1920. He received a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1943, and in the late 1940s he attended Northwestern University Business School in Chicago.
Stetson has had many years of experience in the engineering, management, and publishing fields. During World War II, he was a structural engineer with Douglas Aircraft Company, and later was commissioned in the United States Navy, serving as a communications officer until the end of the war.
Following World War II, Stetson was employed in the Chicago area in various engineering capacities. From 1949 to 1951, he was a project manager for Foote Brothers Gear and Machine Company. Stetson joined the management consulting firm of Booz, Allen and Hamilton in 1951, and several years later, became a partner. In that capacity, he was responsible for conducting a number of assignments with large aircraft companies concerning programs for new military and commercial aircraft. He also was responsible for the firm's consulting work for major oil companies in Iran and the Kuwait area, and during that time, he and his family lived in the Middle East.
From 1963 to 1970, Stetson was president of the publishing division of the Houston Post Company, publishers of newspapers in Houston, Galveston and Texas City.
Prior to his appointment as secretary of the Air Force, Stetson was a president and director of A. B. Dick Company, the international manufacturer and distributor of office business machines. He was also a director of the Houston Post Company, Kemper Corporation, Belden Corporation and Powers Regulator Company.
Stetson has been director of the Computer and Business Equipment Manufacturer's Association and a member of the Conference Board. He has been associated with advisory boards for Wellesley College and Northwestern University, and has been a director of the Boys Club of America. He is a trustee of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.