Humphrey School News—November 18, 2014

Humphrey School Mourns Death of Congressman Bill Frenzel

Bill Frenzel, a longtime Republican congressman from Minnesota and honorary member of the Humphrey School’s dean’s advisory council, died Monday at his home in Virginia. Frenzel had been a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC since January 1991, when he retired from the U.S. House of Representatives after serving his Minnesota constituency for 20 years.

Eric Schwartz, dean of the Humphrey School, said, "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Representative Bill Frenzel, who served Minnesota, the nation, and the world with distinction. An expert on budget, international trade, and so many other issues, he was also deeply committed to dialogue and civility in public life, and Presidents of both political parties sought and obtained his advice and assistance.”

Frenzel was the ranking minority member on the House Budget Committee 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, as well as a Congressional representative to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in Geneva for 15 years. After leaving Congress, Frenzel served the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush Administrations, as special adviser to President Clinton to help pass the North American Free Trade Agreement in the 1990s and on the Social Security Commission and the Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations for President Bush. 

“The life and career of Representative Frenzel, a member of the dean’s advisory council of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, provides a model of public service and an inspiration to our community,” said Schwartz.

Frenzel was 86. Read his full obituary at

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