Arthur Flemming, who was secretary of health, education and welfare from 1958 to 1961 under President Dwight Eisenhower and held other high posts in government and education, died on Saturday. He was 91.
Flemming, a Republican, devoted his career largely to the theory and practice of government service, to the Methodist Church and to education. He was the U.S. commissioner on aging from 1973 to 1978 and chairman of the bipartisan six-member U.S. Commission on Civil Rights from 1974 to 1981.
President Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994.
In 1981 he was dismissed from the civil rights post by President Ronald Reagan after warning publicly that the administration was drifting back to a policy of “separate but equal” in school desegregation.
Flemming was president the University of Oregon from 1961 to 1968 and president of the National Council of Churches from 1966 to 1969.