Dean Rusk

Dean Rusk
Dean Rusk.jpg
54th United States Secretary of State
In office
January 21, 1961 – January 20, 1969
PresidentJohn F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Preceded byChristian Herter
Succeeded byWilliam P. Rogers
2nd Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs
In office
March 28, 1950 – December 9, 1951
PresidentHarry S. Truman
Preceded byWilliam Walton Butterworth
Succeeded byJohn Moore Allison
1st Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
In office
February 8, 1949 – May 26, 1949
PresidentHarry S. Truman
Preceded byDean Acheson (Congressional Relations and International Conferences)
Succeeded byJohn D. Hickerson
Personal details
David Dean Rusk

(1909-02-09)February 9, 1909
Cherokee County, Georgia, U.S.
DiedDecember 20, 1994(1994-12-20) (aged 85)
Athens, Georgia, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Virginia Foisie (m. 1937)
Children3, including David
EducationDavidson College (BA)
St John’s College, Oxford (BS, MA)
University of California, Berkeley (LLB)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
RankUS-O6 insignia.svg Colonel
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsLegion of Merit
Dean Rusk with President Johnson and Robert McNamara, February 9, 1968

David Dean Rusk (February 9, 1909 – December 20, 1994) was the United States Secretary of State from 1961 to 1969 under presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Rusk is one of the longest serving U.S. Secretaries of State, behind only Cordell Hull.

Born in Cherokee County, Georgia, Rusk taught at Mills College after graduating from Davidson College. During World War II, Rusk served as a staff officer in the China Burma India Theater. He was hired by the United States Department of State in 1945 and became Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs in 1950. In 1952, Rusk became president of the Rockefeller Foundation.

After winning the 1960 presidential election, Kennedy asked Rusk to serve as secretary of state. He supported diplomatic efforts during the Cuban Missile Crisis and, though he initially expressed doubts about the escalation of the U.S. role in the Vietnam War, became known as one of its strongest supporters. Rusk served for the duration of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations before retiring from public office in 1969. After leaving office, he taught international relations at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Childhood and education

David Dean Rusk was born in a rural district[1] of Cherokee County, Georgia, to Robert Hugh Rusk and Frances Elizabeth (née Clotfelter) Rusk.[2] He was educated in Atlanta's public schools, graduated from Boys High School in 1925,[3] and spent two years working for an Atlanta lawyer before working his way through Davidson College. Rusk was coached in football by William "Monk" Younger and was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order Sigma chapter,[4] and the national military honor society Scabbard and Blade becoming a Cadet Lieutenant Colonel commanding the Reserve Officers' Training Corps battalion. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1931.[3] While studying in England as a Rhodes Scholar at St. John's College, Oxford, he received the Cecil Peace Prize in 1933.[3][5]

Rusk married the former Virginia Foisie (October 5, 1915 – February 24, 1996) on June 9, 1937.[3] They had three children: David, Richard, and Peggy Rusk.[6]

Rusk taught at Mills College in Oakland, California, from 1934 to 1949, and he earned an LL.B. degree at the University of California, Berkeley in 1940.

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