Willis Gradison Willis David "Bill" Gradison Jr. (born December 28, 1928) is an American politician, who served for almost two decades in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Gradison, a Jewish Republican, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and received a bachelor of arts degree from Yale University in 1949, a master's degree in business administration from Harvard University's Graduate School of Business Administration in 1951, and a doctor of commercial science degree from Harvard in 1954.
Gradison worked as an investment broker and then served as assistant to the undersecretary of the treasury (1953 - 1955), and assistant to the secretary of health, education, and welfare (1955 - 1957).
He was then elected to the Cincinnati city council, on which he served from 1961 to 1974. This service included a term as mayor of Cincinnati in 1971 (a position which at the time rotated among council members). Gradison was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1974 and began serving in 1975 (94th Congress). He began representing Ohio's District 1, but after the 1980 census, he and Tom Luken effectively switched districts, with Gradison's district renumbered as District 2. He served until 1993, when he resigned to accept the position of president of the Health Insurance Association of America.
The vacancy in the House of Representatives created by Gradison's resignation was filled by a special election, which was won by fellow Republican U.S. Rep. Robert J. Portman.