No Relation No. 17: John Whitehead

How many famous John Whiteheads are there? Last week’s “Breakfast Table” noted that John Whitehead is the head of the Rutherford Institute, the group backing Lt. Col. Martha McSally’s lawsuit against Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. John Whitehead also heads the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corp., which is overseeing the rebuilding of the World Trade Center. And John Whitehead worked in the Reagan administration.

Explainer located two famous John Whiteheads:

John C. Whitehead is the chairman of the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corp., and he also served as deputy secretary of state under President Reagan from July 1985 to January 1989. Newsday columnist Liz Smith once called him “chairman of the establishment.” Whitehead was co-chairman and general partner of Goldman Sachs and Co. from 1976 to 1984. He’s a member of both the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission. He’s been a chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and a director of the New York Stock Exchange. He’s chairman emeritus of the Brookings Institution, chairman of the board of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and director of the J. Paul Getty Trust and Outward Bound, to name only a few of the boards that he sits on.

The other one in the news right now, John W. Whitehead, founded the Rutherford Institute in 1982 and achieved his greatest fame by representing Paula Jones in her lawsuit against President Clinton. He’s back in the news because the Rutherford Institute is paying the attorneys representing McSally, who wants the Pentagon to stop requiring her to wear an abaya—a head-to-toe gown similar to a burqa—when she is not on base in Saudi Arabia.

Previously in the “No Relation” series, Explainer tackled the New America Foundation and the Project for a New American Century John Knowles and John Fowles,  Josh Bolten and John Bolton; Robert Kagan, Lawrence F. Kaplan, and Robert D. Kaplan; Lawrence Kudlow, Robert Kuttner, Paul Krugman, and Robert Krulwich; Linda Chavez and Linda Chavez-Thompson; Marty Peretz and the Meretz Party; the McCulloughs and Macaulays;the Gessens, Glennys, and Kaczynskis; the Cohens (three Stephens, four Richards); the Rays(two Elizabeths); the Hirschfelds(Abe and Al); the Strausses (Robert and R. Peter); the Broders  (Jonathan, John M., and David); the Moores (three Michaels); and the Samuelsons (Paul, Robert, and Larry). Explainer has also handled in “Yes Related” the Pipes, the Negropontes, and the Eskews.

Have you noticed people in the news with confusingly similar names? Send your suggestions to Explainer.