Family Tree Tuesday – John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles served as U.S. Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953-1959. He advocated an aggressive stance against communism throughout the world which made him a significant figure in the early Cold War era. He also advocated support of the French in their war against the Viet Minh in Indochina and it is widely believed that he refused to shake the hand of Zhou Enlai at the Geneva Conference in 1954. He played a major role in the Central Intelligence Agency operations to overthrow the Mossadegh government of Iran in 1953 (Operation Ajax) and the Arbenz government of Guatemala in 1954 (Operation PBSUCCESS).
As Secretary of State, he supervised the completion of the Japanese Peace Treaty, in which full independence was restored to Japan under United States terms. Dulles spent considerable time building up NATO and forming other alliances as part of his strategy of controlling Soviet expansion by threatening massive retaliation in event of war.
John Foster Dulles was born on February 25, 1888 in Washington, D.C. to Presbyterian minister Allen Macy and Edith (Foster) Dulles. Dulles’ younger brother Allen Welsh Dulles was the first civilian and the longest-serving (1953-1961) Director of Central Intelligence and a member of the Warren Commission. Under Dulles’ direction, the CIA created MK-Ultra, a top secret mind control research project which was managed by Sidney Gottlieb. He is considered one of the essential creators of the modern United States intelligence system and was an indispensable guide to clandestine operations during the Cold War. He established intelligence networks worldwide to check and counter Soviet and eastern Europe communist advances as well as international communist movements. Eleanor Lansing Dulles, Dulles’ sister, was noted for her work in the successful economic rebuilding of post-war Europe during 20 years with the State Department.
Robert Lansing, Dulles’ uncle, also served as Secretary of State. He served as Legal Advisor to the State Department at the outbreak of World War I, and then as United States Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson from 1915-1920. He negotiated the Lansing-Ishii Agreement with Japan in 1917 and was a member of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace at Paris in 1919.
Dulles’ maternal grandfather was John W. Foster, who was Secretary of State under Benjamin Harrison.
Did you know John Foster Dulles tried to join the United States Army during World War I but was rejected? He was rejected because of poor eyesight and instead he received an Army commission as Major on the War Industries Board.
Check out John Foster Dulles’ family tree and see how you may be related!