William "Bill" Frenzel (1928 - 2014)
Former Minnesota Congressman
Co-Founder, Economic Club of Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 17,2014-- William “Bill” Frenzel, Minnesota member of the House of Representatives representing the Third District from 1971-1991, guest scholar at the Brookings Institution since 1991, and co-founder of the Economic Club of Minnesota with former Congressmen Mark Kennedy and Tim Penny, has died at age 86.
He passed away peacefully with his family at his side at his home in Virginia this morning.
Frenzel was the ranking minority member on the House Budget C
ommittee and was the principal Republican economic spokesperson in the House. He was a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and its Trade Subcommittee, and was a congressional representative to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in Geneva for fifteen years. In 1993, he was special advisor to the president for NAFTA.
In 2001, President Bush appointed him to the Social Security Commission, and in 2002, to the Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations (ACTPN), which he chaired. In January, 2005, he was appointed to President Bush’s Tax Reform Commission.
In 2000, he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, by the Emperor of Japan. In 2002, he received an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Hamline University. In 2014, he was awarded the Order of the Aztec Eagle by Mexican Ambassador Eduardo Medina Mora for his work on NAFTA. This is the highest honor bestowed by the Mexican government on non-citizens. Bill also received the Economic Club of Minnesota’s first annual Champion of Free Trade award in Washington, D.C., as part of their celebration of the 20th Anniversary of NAFTA earlier this year.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague.
Bill was a terrific leader, a devoted husband and father, and a good friend and mentor to so many, including me. Long after he retired from politics, he remained active in public policy as a national leader on expanding trade and reducing the national debt. Bill worked on the issues he cared about right until the end – going to his office at Brookings every day until just a few weeks ago.
“We will miss Bill’s leadership, keen insights and delightful sense of humor! The Economic Club will do our best to carry on his work to strengthen international trade and restore fiscal responsibility. Bill will be dearly missed by all of us at the Economic Club.”