Robert Clifton Weaver (December 29, 1907 – July 17, 1997) served as the first United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (also known as HUD) from 1966 to 1968. He was the first African American to hold a cabinet-level position in the United States.
As a young man, Weaver had been one of 45 prominent African Americans appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to his Black Cabinet. He acted as an informal adviser to Roosevelt as well as directing federal programs during the New Deal.
Weaver was born on December 29, 1907 into a middle-class family in Washington, D.C. His parents were Morgan Weaver, a postal worker, and Margaret Freeman, of mixed-race ancestry; they encouraged the boy in his academic studies. His maternal grandfather was Dr. Freeman, the first black to graduate from Harvard in dentistry.
The young Weaver attended the M Street School, now known as the Paul Dunbar High School. The academic high school for blacks at a time of racial segregation had a national reputation for excellence. Weaver went on to Harvard University, where he earned his B.S., M.A., and Ph.D. in economics, completing his doctorate in 1934.
Weaver married Ella V. Haith in 1935. They