Frank Carlucci, Sem grad and former Secretary of Defense, dies at 87

By Bill O’Boyle - [email protected]
Carlucci -

WILKES-BARRE — Frank Carlucci, the man who was instrumental in securing millions of federal dollars in flood recovery funds for the Wyoming Valley, died Sunday in Falls Church, Va. He was 87.

Carlucci, who served as Secretary of Defense in the Reagan Administration, also served under Presidents Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon. It was during Nixon’s time in office that the Agnes Flood of 1972 devastated this region, and Carlucci convinced the president to visit the area. After taking a helicopter tour, Nixon authorized the release of millions of federal dollars in relief money.

John Shafer, vice president of advancement at Wyoming Seminary, offered comment on Carlucci’s passing. Carlucci was a 1948 graduate of Sem.

“The Wyoming Seminary community was truly saddened to learn of the passing yesterday of Frank Carlucci, and we extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends,” Shafer said. “A 1948 graduate of Sem, he was among the inaugural recipients in 1972 of the School’s Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor bestowed by the institution. We remember his tireless, extraordinary hands-on efforts to help this area and Sem recover from the devastating flood caused by Hurricane Agnes in 1972.”

Carlucci served on Sem’s board of trustees from 1978 to 1984 and often returned for class reunions. In the fall of 2011, he spoke at the School’s Founder’s Day program to the students and faculty on the importance of public service. In his honor, and in recognition of his many years of public service, the school now awards the Frank C. Carlucci III ’48 Scholarship Award to students who are passionate about serving their communities.

“When we as a school consider the importance of public service, we would look to Frank and his career as an inspiring example,” Shafer said.

Carlucci was a wrestler both at Sem and at Princeton University, he Shafer said he was proud that he and his 1947 and 1948 Sem teammates won back-to-back National Prep School titles.

“He was tough, confident, and got things done — traits that served him well when he was serving our country and later in his business career,” Shafer said. “I visited with him often on trips to the Washington, D.C. area over the past 40 years and whatever position he was in, he always found time to talk about what was going on at Sem and in Northeastern Pennsylvania. He loved his hometown of Scranton and was proud of his roots. He was particularly pleased that his son Frank, a 1981 Sem graduate, is serving as a Sem trustee, and we are honored to have his family continue to play an important role in our School.”

According to Carlucci’s obituary, he compiled “ storied career and at times was a warrior, a diplomat, a senior government executive, and a very successful businessman.”

Among his accomplishments, Carlucci served as U.S. Secretary of Defense and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, both under President Ronald Reagan, Deputy Secretary of Defense, Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, Ambassador to Portugal, Undersecretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity.

He spent 15 years as a Foreign Service officer, and he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy after graduating from Princeton University.

During his illustrious business career Carlucci served as chairman and CEO of Sears World Trade, Inc., and Managing Director, Chairman, and Chairman Emeritus of the Carlyle Group.

Carlucci is survived by his wife Marcia Myers Carlucci, three children, Frank Charles Carlucci IV, Karen Romano, and Kristin Carlucci Weed, six grandchildren and his sister, Joan Kleinrock.


By Bill O’Boyle

[email protected]

Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.

Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.