Skip to main content

O'Neill, Paul Henry

Paul Henry O'Neill, 1935–, American business executive and government official, b. St. Louis, Mo., grad. Fresno State College (B.A.) and Indiana Univ. (M.P.A.). A Republican, O'Neill began his career in the federal government in 1961 as a systems analyst in the Veterans Administration and worked his way up in the bureaucracy to become a top official at the Office of Management and Budget (1967–77) under presidents Nixon and Ford. He was an initiator and supporter of government block grants. Leaving government service, O'Neill soon became a corporate executive, holding the post of chairman and chief executive of Alcoa (1987–99). In 2000, O'Neill was named secretary of the treasury by President George W. Bush. A supporter of revamping social security to permit individuals to invest in stocks and bonds, he was unusually plain-spoken for a treasury secretary. He resigned at the request of the White House in Dec., 2002, as the administration turned its focus to the lackluster economy and its potential effect on the 2004 election. O'Neill's profound disagreements with the Bush administration's policies were subsequently revealed when he made detailed accusations of one-sided, prearranged, and politically determined decision-making processes.

See R. Suskind, The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House and the Education of Paul O'Neill (2004).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"O'Neill, Paul Henry." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 16 Feb. 2019 <>.

"O'Neill, Paul Henry." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (February 16, 2019).

"O'Neill, Paul Henry." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved February 16, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.