About Jonathan Brewster Bingham
Jonathan Brewster Bingham (April 24, 1914 — July 3, 1986) was an American politician and diplomat. He was the US delegate to the United Nations General Assemblies and was elected to Congress.
His father, Hiram Bingham III, was a Senator and explorer and his grandfather, Hiram Bingham II, was a missionary, who helped translate the Bible into Hawaiian.
Bingham attended Groton School and graduated from Yale University in 1936 with a BA and from Yale Law School in 1939 with a law degree. He was a member of Skull and Bones, class of 1936. In 1940 he was admitted to the bar, and began the practice of law in New York City. His practice was interrupted in August 1941, when he joined the Machinery Branch of the newly created Office of Price Administration (OPA) as a legal advisor. He was not at the OPA for long, for in 1942 he joined the Military Intelligence Service. In April of the following year he was enlisted as a private in the United States Army and was discharged a captain in October 1945 with a War Department citation.
On his return he was appointed chief of the newly created Alien Enemy Control Section of the State Department. The Alien Enemy Control Section was unpopular and short-lived. Bingham got off the boat before it sank, resuming the practice of law in New York City in 1946.
He left the practice of law again in 1951 to become assistant director of the Office of International Security Affairs. Bingham left in the same year to become deputy administrator of the Technical Cooperation Administration. He left the administration in 1953, and again resumed the practice of law. In 1955 he became secretary to fellow Bonesman, W. Averell Harriman, while he was Governor of New York. When Harriman was defeated in the 1958 election by Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller, Bingham joined the law firm Goldwater & Flynn.
In 1961 Bingham entered the world of diplomacy, as a United States representative on the United Nations Trusteeship Council with rank of Minister in 1961 and 1962, serving as President in 1962. During this period he was also principal adviser to the U.S. ambassador to U.N. on colonial and trusteeship questions. From 1963 to 1964 he was a United States representative on the United Nations Economic and Social Council with rank of Ambassador. He was also alternate representative to the 15th and 18th United Nations General Assemblies.
In 1964 he was elected to the House of Representatives from the 23rd District of New York, a district in the Bronx, at a time when elections in the Bronx were decided in the Democratic primaries in contests between "regular" or machine Democrats, and "reform" or challenger Democrats. Bingham defeated Charles Buckley, the leader of the Bronx "regular" Democrats and a powerful, senior committee chairman in Congress, in a re-match following Bingham's defeat in his first try against the incumbent Buckley in the 1962 Democratic primary.
Bingham represented the 23rd District until 1972, when, as a result of re-districting following the 1970 census, he was elected to the House from the 22nd District of New York following a bruising primary with neighboring Democratic incumbent congressman James H. Scheuer. Bingham didn't pursue re-election when, in 1982, his district essentially disappeared as a result of yet another post-census re-districting. While in the House, Bingham served on the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee and chaired the Subcommittee on International Economic Policy and Trade. He was particularly dedicated to nuclear non-proliferation and environmental protection.
On leaving congress he took up the practice of law as special counsel with Pryor, Cashman, Sherman & Flynn. He also lectured at Columbia University School of Law. During his lifetime Bingham contributed articles to various publications. He also authored of Shirt Sleeve Diplomacy-Point 4 in Action (1954) and Violence and Democracy (1970).
He was a fellow of the Yale Corporation from 1949 to 1951, and served on its executive committee from 1951 to 1953. Bingham served on the board of directors of the People for the American Way, the United Nations Development Corporation, U.S. Committee for UNICEF and the Population Crisis Committee. He was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Century Association.
He was married to June Rossbach Bingham (June 20, 1919 – August 21, 2007), an author and playwright. They had four children. After Bingham's death, Mrs. Bingham married Robert Birge.
Bingham died from complications of pneumonia, aged 72, at the Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan on July 3, 1986. He was interred in the Bingham Family Cemetery, in Salem, Connecticut.