Harvey L. Pitt

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Harvey Pitt

Harvey L. Pitt is an attorney and regulator who was the 26th chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Pitt had previously served as an attorney on the staff of the Commission from 1968 until 1978, the last three years of which he was the Commission's general counsel.[1]He received some criticism because the Enron scandal occurred while he was SEC chairman. In a letter to President George W. Bush, Pitt said "the turmoil surrounding my chairmanship" had rendered him incapable of fulfilling his duties.[2]

Pitt was only the second chairman of the SEC to resign abruptly because of political turmoil. In 1973, G. Bradford Cook resigned 74 days after taking office during part of the Watergate-related scandals.[3]


Pitt started as a staff attorney in the Commission's Office of General Counsel (1968), and served in the following capacities over the next decade: legal assistant to SEC commissioner Francis M. Wheat (1969); special counsel in the Office of the General Counsel of the SEC (1970-72); editor of the SEC's Institutional Investor Study Report (1972); chief counsel of the SEC's Division of Market Regulation (1972-73); and executive assistant to SEC Chairman Ray Garrett, Jr. (1973-75).


Pitt received a J.D. degree from St. John's University School of Law (1968), and his B.A. from the City University of New York (Brooklyn College) (1965). He was awarded an honorary doctorate in law by St. John's University School of Law in June 2002.


  1. Chairman Harvey L. Pitt. SEC.
  2. Harvey Pitt resigns as SEC chief. USA Today.
  3. S.E.C.'s Embattled Chief Resigns In Wake of Latest Political Storm. New York Times.