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(born November 28, 1937) is an American investor and government official who is the current United States Secretary of Commerce. On November 24, 2016, the Associated Press reported that President-elect Donald Trump would nominate Ross to be United States Secretary of Commerce. On February 27, 2017, the Senate confirmed Ross as United States Secretary of Commerce by a margin of 72-27. He was sworn into office on February 28, 2017.
Before he was appointed as Secretary of Commerce, Ross was a banker known for restructuring failed companies in industries such as steel, coal, telecommunications, foreign investment and textiles. He specializes in leveraged buyouts and distressed businesses. In February 2017, Forbes magazine reported that Ross has a net worth of $2.5 billion. He is often called the "King of Bankruptcy" because of his experience in buying bankrupt companies, primarily in the manufacturing and steel industries, and later selling them for a large profit after operations improve.
Ross was raised as a Democrat. He served under U.S. President Bill Clinton on the board of the U.S.-Russia Investment Fund. Later, under New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Ross served as the Mayor's privatization advisor. In January 1998 he put $2.25 million in seed money into the campaign of his then-wife, Betsy McCaughey Ross, who was seeking the Democratic nomination for Governor of New York. Although he was an early supporter of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, Ross was previously a registered Democrat, served as an officer of the New York State Democratic Party, and held fundraisers for Democratic candidates at his apartment in New York City. Since at least 2011, Ross has been donating to Republican candidates and organizations. He became a registered Republican in November 2016.