Who Was John Foster Dulles?
John Foster Dulles, the Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, used the potent weapon of global diplomatic relations to halt the spread of communism. Convinced that communism was a moral evil, the hard-working and idealistic Dulles steadfastly refused to compromise with any communist government.
When Dulles was appointed Secretary of State in 1952, he was probably one of the best qualified men ever to take that post. Born in Washington, D.C., the son of a Presbyterian minister, Dulles had both a grandfather and an uncle who had served as Secretary of State. While still a teenager, he accompanied his grandfather to the Hague Peace Conference in Holland. Educated at Princeton, he went on to become highly-respected international lawyer. His foreign policy credits included involvement in the peace negotiations following World War I and assistance in drafting the United Nations Charter. Serving as consultant to President Truman’s State Department, he negotiated an excellent peace treaty with Japan.
Dulles was named Secretary of State at the height of the Cold War, the struggle between communist and democratic nations which took place without open warfare. Uniquely qualified for his “Cold Warrior” role, Dulles moved strongly to contain communism and stood ready to place American power behind any free country threatened by aggression. Dulles‘ most lasting contribution to foreign affairs was his tenacity in exercising the policy of deterrence. Still an influence on political thinking, this policy required the United States to maintain enough military power to discourage aggression.
Logging more miles in world travel than any previous Secretary of State, Dulles was willing to go anywhere in the world if he thought it would promote world peace. Ill health forced him to resign in April of 1959. When he died a month later, the nation mourned a man of great personal courage who had labored unceasingly against the threat of communism. Because of his great service to the United States. Our district honored him by naming our school after this great diplomat.