On 1 July 1993, President Clinton nominated John H. Dalton to become the Secretary of the Navy. The Senate confirmed the appointment on 21 July. Secretary Dalton was sworn in as the 70th Secretary of the Navy on 22 July 1993 and served until 16 November 1998.
Previously, Mr. Dalton ran the San Antonio, Texas, office of Stephens Inc., a Little Rock, Arkansas-based investment banking firm. Prior to Stephens he was Managing Director of Best Associates and Mason Best Company, merchant banking firms headquartered in Houston and Dallas respectively.
From 1984 to 1988 he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Freedom Capital Corporation in San Antonio, and President of the Sequin Savings Association. Prior to this position, he was President of the Real Estate Division of the Gill Companies of San Antonio.
President Carter nominated Mr. Dalton to the Federal Home Loan Bank Board in December 1979, where he served as a member and chairman until July 1981.
Mr. Dalton was President of the Government National Mortgage Association of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development before being appointed to the Bank Board. He began his public service career after serving with the investment banking firm of Goldman, Sachs & Company in Dallas, Texas.
In 1971 he received a Master of Business Administration Degree from the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce of the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Dalton attended Louisiana State University for one year before attending the U.S. Naval Academy. He graduated with distinction from Annapolis in 1964 having served as Deputy Brigade Commander, the Academy's number two ranking position. He was a finalist in the Rhodes Scholarship competition.
Serving in the Navy from 1964 to 1969, he received naval nuclear power training and served aboard the submarines USS BLUEBACK (as Supply and Commissary Officer) and JOHN C. CALHOUN (as Main Propulsion Assistant, Communications Officer and Weapons Officer). He attained the rank of Lieutenant while serving on active duty. Subsequently, he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve.
Mr. Dalton was recognized by the National Security Caucus as their prestigious International Security Leadership Award recipient for 1997. The award recognizes Mr. Dalton's "leadership and vision in promoting American seapower and a bipartisan maritime strategy." Previous award winners include: former Presidents George Bush and Ronald Reagan; former Secretaries of Defense William Perry and Caspar Weinberger; and former Senators John Stennis, John Tower, Henry Jackson and Sam Nunn. Mr. Dalton is the first service secretary to receive this award. The National Security Caucus Foundation has also established the John H. Dalton Congressional Fellowship in Maritime Strategy Studies in his honor. Mr. Dalton also holds an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree awarded by Trinity College in 1997.
Mr. Dalton was succeeded as Secretary of the Navy by Mr. Richard Danzig on 16 November 1998.