Goldschmidt, Neil Edward

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GOLDSCHMIDT, NEIL EDWARD (1941– ), U.S. politician. Goldschmidt was born in Eugene, Oregon, and graduated from the University of Oregon in 1963 and from the University of California at Berkeley Law School in 1967. Entering political life at an early age, in his twenties he became a city commissioner of Portland, Oregon (1971–73). In 1973, at age 32, he became mayor of Portland, the youngest mayor of a major U.S. city, serving until 1979. He was referred to by Richard Corner, mayor of Peoria, Illinois, then president of the United States Conference of Mayors, as "one of the best of a new breed." In July 1979 he was appointed secretary of transportation by President Carter and served until the end of the Carter administration. Goldschmidt returned to Oregon in 1981, where he served as international vice president of Nike until 1985. In 1986–87 he was president of the running shoe company's Canadian subsidiary, Nike Canada.

Goldschmidt served as governor of Oregon from 1987 to 1991. He helped create in 1991 the Oregon Children's Foundation, and smart (Start Making a Reader Today), which places 10,000 volunteers in Oregon schools to read to children. He also established the law and consulting firm Neil Goldschmidt, Inc. in Portland, specializing in international business. Goldschmidt was an active member of the local Reform congregation.

In 2004 he resigned from his positions with the Oregon Board of Higher Education, the Oregon Electric Utility Company, and the state bar. His resignation was prompted by an imminent newspaper article that was to reveal his sexual misconduct while he was mayor of Portland. On May 6, 2004, Goldschmidt announced – and apologized – publicly that in 1975 he had engaged in a nine-month sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl. In his statement he said, "For almost thirty years, I have lived with enormous guilt and shame about this relationship…. I have sat in my place of worship each year at Yom Kippur … searching for personal peace."

Goldschmidt wrote The Oregon Book of Juvenile Issues (with G. Johnson, 1989).

[Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]

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Goldschmidt, Neil Edward

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