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Dean Acheson

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Dean Acheson
Dean Acheson.jpg
51st United States Secretary of State
In office
January 21, 1949 – January 20, 1953
PresidentHarry S. Truman
Preceded byGeorge C. Marshall
Succeeded byJohn Foster Dulles
Personal details
Dean Gooderham Acheson

(1893-04-11)April 11, 1893
Middletown, Connecticut, U.S.
DiedOctober 12, 1971(1971-10-12) (aged 78)
Sandy Spring, Maryland, U.S.
Resting placeOak Hill Cemetery in Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Alice Caroline Stanley
(1917 - 1971, his death)
ChildrenDavid Campion Acheson
Jane Acheson Brown
Mary Eleanor Acheson Bundy
Alma materYale College
Harvard Law School
Military service
Branch/serviceUnited States National Guard
Battles/warsWorld War I

Dean Gooderham Acheson (pronounced /ˈæɪsən/;[1] April 11, 1893 – October 12, 1971) was an American statesman and lawyer. He was a member of the Democratic Party.

Early life

Acheson was born in Middletown, Connecticut. He studied at Yale College and at Harvard Law School. He married Alice Stanley in 1917.

Secretary of State

Acheson served as the 51st United States Secretary of State under President Harry S. Truman. He served as Secretary of State from January 1949 to January 1953. He helped defend America's foreign policy during the break of the Cold War.[2]

Acheson's most famous decision was convincing President Truman to intervene in the Korean War in June 1950. He also persuaded Truman to dispatch aid and advisors to French forces in Indochina, though in 1968 he finally counseled President Lyndon B. Johnson to negotiate for peace with North Vietnam.

Kennedy Administration

Further information: John F. Kennedy

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, President John F. Kennedy called upon Acheson for advice, bringing him into the executive committee (ExComm), a strategic advisory group.

Personal life

Acheson and his wife Alice had three children; David, Jane, and Mary. He remained married to Alice until his death in 1971. He retired shortly after 1955.


Acheson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. He also won a Pulitzer Prize for History in 1970.


Acheson died in Sandy Spring, Maryland from a massive stroke. He was 78 years old. He was survived by his two surviving children, David and Mary. He was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in Washington, D.C..


Other websites

Media related to Dean Acheson at Wikimedia Commons