J. Peter Grace (1913 - 1995) was a multimillionaire American industrialist and conglomerateur of Irish Catholic extraction. He was the long-time CEO of W. R. Grace and Company, the firm founded by his grandfather William R. Grace, the first Catholic mayor of New York City.
Peter Grace was the kind of man who, at age seventy, Indian-wrestled fellow chairmen of the board at his desk, showered in the evening to save time getting to work in the morning, wore a Beretta pistol (for terrorists), and, as a Democrat, took out a full-page ad in The New York Times to support President Ronald Reagan's tax cuts. source
In the Kennedy administration, J. Peter Grace was head of the Commerce Department Committee on the Alliance for Progress. source
President Reagan, in announcing the selection of J. Peter Grace to lead The Grace Commission on waste and inefficiency in the Federal government, said:
Mr. Grace, a Democrat, was asked what he would say to the campaign theme of Mr. Mondale, the Democratic Presidential candidate, that higher taxes would be required to ease the deficit regardless of who wins the November election.
"I'd tell him he's nuts," Mr. Grace said. "He's wrong. He's wrong." NY Times source
He was president of the diversified chemical company, W. R. Grace & Co. for 48 years, making him the longest reigning CEO of a public company. He was responsible for the Grace Commission Report, and co-founded "Citizens Against Government Waste" with Jack Anderson in 1984.
"There is nothing I dislike more than being a loser in anything," he said in an interview in Fortune magazine.
In 1984, Mr. Grace received The Hundred Year Association of New York's Gold Medal Award "in recognition of outstanding contributions to the City of New York."
He was devoutly Catholic, and was a Knight of Malta.
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