Manuel Lujan Jr. was born on May 12, 1928, and died on April 26, 2019; he was a Republican politician from the U.S. state of New Mexico who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1969 to 1989 and as the United States Secretary of the Interior from 1989 to 1993.
He was a colleague of George H. W. Bush in the House from 1969 to 1971. In 1989, President Bush named Lujan to his Cabinet.
Manuel was born in San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico, into the notable family of Manuel A. Lujan Sr. and Lorenzita (Romero) Lujan.
His father laboured as mayor of Santa Fe and was an unsuccessful candidate for governor and Congress. Lujan tended Catholic schools in Santa Fe.
Manuel attended Saint Mary’s College of California in 1946 and graduated from the St. Michael’s College in Santa Fe in 1950.
After college, Lujan went to work for the family insurance company, the Manuel Lujan Agencies, which his father had opened in 1925.
The Albuquerque-based company remains leading risk management and insurance firm; in 2002, it was, ranked as the most profitable of New Mexico’s Hispanic-owned businesses.
Lujan also accompanied his father into politics, launching his first campaign with a failed bid for the New Mexico State Senate in 1964.
Three years later, he helped to found the Republican National Hispanic Assembly. Lujan’s failed 1964 bid for political office was the last electoral defeat for him; after defeating incumbent Rep. Thomas G. Morris in 1968, he worked in Congress for the next two decades.
Manuel and his wife Jean have four children: Terra, Jay, Jeff and Barbara. Lujan’s niece, Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is the 32nd Governor of New Mexico, and nephew, current Rep.
Ben Ray Luján, both have represented New Mexico in the United States House of Representatives as Democrats.
Manuel Lujan Jr. sadly passed away on April 26, 2019; he was 90 years old.