Bachelor of Science, United States Naval Academy, 1949. Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Navy Postgraduate School, 1958. Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Marymount College, 1982.
Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), New York Medical College, 1988. Doctor of Science (honorary), Dowling College, 1983. Doctor of Science (honorary), University Alabama, 1991.
Doctor of Laws (honorary), Catholic University America, 1985. Doctor of Laws (honorary), Mount Sinai School Medicine, 1993. Doctor of Laws (honorary), California University Pennsylvania, 1994.
Doctor of Science (honorary), College William and Mary, 1999. Doctor of Science (honorary), Oregon State University, 1999.
Commissioned ensign United States Navy, 1949, advanced through grades to admiral, 1979, commanding officer United States Ship Snook, 1964-1966, executive officer United States Ship Long Beach, 1967-1969. Head submarine/nuclear power distribution control branch Bureau Naval Personnel, Department Navy, Washington, 1969-1971, director enlisted personnel division, 1971-1972, assistant chief naval personnel for enlisted personnel control, 1972-1973. Commander Cruiser-Destroyer Group 1 United States Navy, 1973-1975.
Deputy chief naval operations manpower Department Navy, Washington, 1975-1978, chief Bureau Naval Personnel, 1975-1978. Commander United States Sixth Fleet United States Navy, 1978-1979. Vice chief naval operations Department Navy, Washington, 1979-1981, commander-in-chief United States Pacific Fleet, 1981-1982, chief naval operations, 1982-1986.
Retired United States Navy, 1986. Chairman Presidential Commission Human Immunodeficiency Virus Epidemic, 1987-1988. Secretary United States Department Energy, Washington, 1988—1993.
President Joint Oceanographic Institution, 1993-2000, Consortium Oceanographic Research and Education, 1993-2001. President & founder Joint Oceanographic Institute.
Chairman Presidentially Appointed Commission Ocean Policy, 2001—2004. Co-chair Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, 2004—2007. Member of The Army Navy Country Club, The Alfalfa Club, Knights of Malta.
Married Sheila Jo McKinney, August 19, 1950 (deceased September 1996). Married Janet L. McDonough, June 17, 2000. Children: Katherine Marie, Laura Jo, Charles Lancaster, Susan Elizabeth, James David, Edward Francisstepchildren: John Christopher McDonough, Sean Charles McDonough, Robert Edward McDonough, Siobhan McDonough.