Frank Lyon Polk (1871 - 1943)

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Death: Died
Managed by: Doug Robinson
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Immediate Family

About Frank Lyon Polk

Frank Lyon Polk (September 13, 1871 in New York City — February 7, 1943) was a prominent United States lawyer and a name partner of the law firm today known as Davis Polk & Wardwell.


Polk graduated from Yale College (B.A., 1894) and Columbia University Law School (LL.B., 1897). He was a member of the Scroll and Key Society.

In 1897, Polk began his law practice in New York City. He served on a variety of City boards and commissions. He was member of the civil service commission of New York from 1907 to 1909, and in 1907 and 1910 was a member of the New York City Board of Education. On 24 January 1914 Mayor Mitchel appointed him corporation counsel, in which office he remained until his appointment on 16 September 1915 as counselor for the United States Department of State at Washington, D.C.

He served in the Department of State as Counselor until 1919, and then as Acting Secretary of State (1920) and Under Secretary of State (1919–1920). Polk headed the American Commission to Negotiate Peace (1919), and after President Wilson's and Secretary Lansing's departure from Paris in 1919, he represented the United States at the peace conference. He managed the 1924 Democratic presidential convention campaign of John W. Davis, another name partner of his law firm.

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Frank Polk, acting U.S. Secretary of State's Timeline

September 13, 1871
February 7, 1943
Age 71