At the Helm

My Journey with Family, Faith, and Friends to Calm the Storms of Life


From modest beginnings to Secretary of the Navy, John Dalton’s life is an inspirational story filled with successes and failures in both the public and private sectors and how he navigated through them.

  • INSIDE LOOK FROM SOMEONE WHO WAS THERE: Secretary of Navy during major crises including Tailhook, the Naval Academy cheating scandal, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and women serving in the military.
  • WELL-CONNECTED AND RESPECTED PUBLIC SERVANT: Author recounts interactions with such public figures as President Carter, President Clinton, Billy Graham, Roger Staubach, Bill Proxmire, Rahm Emanuel, George Steinbrenner, Lloyd Bentsen, Dianne Feinstein, and Hillary Clinton. Blurbs from some of these notable names included in marketing materials and the interior of the book.
  • PLANNED SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS: Author to speak at the Sonoma Valley Authors Festival, Army and Navy Club, Metropolitan Club, and Cosmos Club (all in Washington, DC) and at book parties around the country.

About the author(s)

John H. Dalton served as the 70th Secretary of the Navy and was recognized by the National Security Caucus as their 1997 International Security Leadership Award recipient. After graduating from the US Naval Academy, he served on two submarines. In 1977, President Carter nominated him as president of the Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae”) and later a member and then Chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board. In July 1993, President Clinton nominated him as Secretary of the Navy where he served for five and a half years.

In the private sector, Secretary Dalton began his career with Goldman Sachs. Between his two government tenures, he served in leadership positions of several financial firms. Secretary Dalton attended Louisiana State University one year before attending the US Naval Academy where, as Deputy Brigade Commander (the Brigade number two ranking position), he graduated with distinction in 1964. He was inducted into the LSU Alumni Hall of Distinction and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Trinity College. In 2016, he received the Distinguished Graduate Award from the Naval Academy and was also named an honorary Canon of the Washington National Cathedral. He and his wife, Margaret, reside in Washington.

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