Henry F. Grady

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Henry Francis Grady

Birthdate: (75)
Birthplace: San Francisco, CA, USA
Death: September 14, 1957 (75) (Heart attack onboard the SS President Wilson, on the Pacific Ocean)
Place of Burial: Colma, CA, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of John Henry Grady and Eleanor Nellie G. Grady
Husband of Lucretia Louise Grady
Father of Reginaldo del Valle Grady; Patricia Davies; Henry F. Grady, Jr. and John W. Grady
Brother of Nellie Grady; Gertrude Grady; Benvenuta L. Grady; Grover Grady, Sr.; Irene "Sister Benvenuta" and 6 others

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About Henry F. Grady



Grady, Henry Francis (Feb. 12, 1882 - Sept. 14, 1957), diplomat, educator, and businessman, was born in San Francisco, Calif., the son of John Henry Grady and Ellen Genevieve Rourke. He went east for his undergraduate education, receiving a B.A. from St. Mary's University in Baltimore in 1907. He subsequently did graduate work at Catholic University (1907-1908) and the University of California (1915-1917). He later received a doctorate in international finance from Columbia University (1927). On Oct. 18, 1917, he married Lucretia del Valle, the daughter of a prominent Los Angeles attorney. They had four children.

Grady began early to combine three careers in one. He was teaching economics at Columbia when the United States entered World War I, and in 1918 he moved to Washington to work in the Bureau of Planning and Statistics of the U.S. Shipping Board. After the armistice he was sent to Europe as the first American trade commissioner to report on postwar economic conditions, and in late 1919 he assumed the post of commercial attaché at the London embassy. Six months later he resigned to resume his doctoral research on British wartime finances. Early in 1921 he was back in both the government, this time as acting chief of research in the U.S. Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, and in academia, lecturing at the Foreign Service School of Georgetown University. For a while Grady seemed to settle on teaching, and in the fall of 1921 he returned to California to teach at Berkeley, where in 1928 he became professor of international trade and dean of the College of Commerce. He remained at Berkeley until 1937.

Grady's energies could not be confined to the classroom. He became involved in numerous civic enterprises in the San Francisco area, and he developed a reputation for getting things done. He also became a spokesman for improved trade relations with the Far East, a viewpoint he developed in a number of articles and speeches. He took a leave of absence from the University of California in 1934 to serve as chief of the State Department Trade Agreements Division, and he was the main figure in the drafting of the act that allowed the United States to enter into reciprocal trade agreements. In 1937 Grady was named vice-chairman of the United States Tariff Commission. In August 1939 he was appointed assistant secretary of state for general economic matters and trade agreements.

The new assistant secretary, said Fortune several months later, "lacks the evangelical fervor of his predecessor; however, that lack is offset by his extraordinary technical knowledge and his ability to get along with people." Grady stayed in that office until January 1941, when he resigned to assume the presidency of the American President Line. He also made an extensive trip throughout the Far East as President Franklin D. Roosevelt's personal representative to determine the availability of strategic defense materials and the means for getting them to the Allies. Although Grady headed the shipping line until April 1947, he took on one special assignment after another, constantly traveling, and was known as a man "who thrived on living out of a suitcase."

He served as chairman of the American Technical Mission to India in March 1942, vice-president of the economic section of the Allied Control Commission in Italy in 1943 and 1944, and chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco from 1942 to 1947. By 1945 Grady had become the man to call on to handle difficult assignments. In October of that year President Harry S. Truman named him to head the American Section of the Allied Mission for Observing the Greek Elections. With the rank of ambassador, he went to Greece to supervise the 1,400 Americans, Britons, and Frenchmen who composed the inspection teams for the March 1946 elections. He did an outstanding job in a sensitive role, winning plaudits for his own conduct as well as friends for the United States.

President Truman next sent Grady to London as the American representative for the Committee on Palestine and Related Problems. No issue vexed Anglo-American relations as did the Zionist demand for a Jewish homeland. For once Grady allowed the situation and his peers in the State Department to get the better of him. Despite earlier reports supporting an independent Jewish Palestine, both British and American career officials opposed the idea, and the so-called Morrison-Grady plan was obviously designed to keep Palestine firmly under British control. So furious were Zionist supporters when they heard of its details that Truman disavowed the plan before it could even be made public.

In April 1947 Grady became the first American ambassador to India. A year later he returned to Greece, where he served as ambassador for two critical years, during which the Communist guerrillas were suppressed and economic life was restored to the country. Then in 1950 he went to another trouble spot, Iran, where State Department officials hoped he would be able to repeat his success in Greece. But the large amounts of foreign aid that Grady had utilized so effectively in Greece were denied him in Iran. At one point he irately cabled the State Department: "Where are the chips you promised me for this poker game?" Grady also differed with Washington's views on how to handle the anti-British, anticolonialist sentiment then rampant in Iran. In September 1951 he sent in his resignation and retired from diplomatic service.

In his remaining years, Grady led a quieter but still active life. He was a foreign policy adviser to Adlai Stevenson and headed a group working for the recall of Senator Joseph McCarthy. In the mid-1950's he spoke and worked for a freer American trade policy and for easing economic restrictions on trade with Communist nations. He died while on a cruise to the Far East on board the President Wilson.

-- Melvin I. Urofsky

Henry F. Grady

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Henry Francis Grady (February 12, 1882 - September 14, 1957) was an American diplomat. Born in San Francisco, California to John Henry Grady and Ellen G. Rourke, he earned a PhD in Economics from Columbia University. On October 18, 1917 he married Lucretia Louise del Valle (daughter of California State Sen. Reginaldo Francisco del Valle, and granddaughter of Los Angeles Mayor Ygnacio del Valle). Grady's daughter, Patricia L Grady, was born in Paris France 11 May 1920 and died 28 May 2000 in Asheville, Buncombe, NC. On 24 Aug 1942 she married diplomat John Paton Davies, Jr.

He worked at the US Commerce Department in Economics as an aide to Secretary Herbert Hoover in 1921. He was the Dean, College of Commerce at the UC Berkeley from 1928 to 1937. He became President of the shipping company APL in 1941 remaining there until 1947.

Diplomatic career

In October 1945, he was appointed by US President Harry S. Truman as his personal representative to the Allied commission supervising elections in Greece, this due to the volatile situation created by the Greek Civil War.[1] Grady was the first US Ambassador to India, serving from 1947-1948 (concurrently US Ambassador to Nepal 1948). He was then appointed as US Ambassador to Greece from 1948 to 1950, and US Ambassador to Iran 1950-1951. Was A Member of the Pacific Union Club in SF, Ca. and a Family Club Member.


He died September 14, 1957 onboard the SS President Wilson, Pacific Ocean from heart failure and was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, Colma, CA.


Henry F. Grady

AKA Henry Francis Grady

Born: 12-Feb-1882

Birthplace: San Francisco, CA

Died: 14-Sep-1957

Location of death: Onboard the SS President Wilson, Pacific Ocean

Cause of death: Heart Failure

Remains: Buried, Holy Cross Cemetery, Colma, CA

Gender: Male

Race or Ethnicity: White

Sexual orientation: Straight

Occupation: Economist, Diplomat

Party Affiliation: Democratic

Nationality: United States

Executive summary: First US Ambassador to India, 1947-48

Father: John Henry Grady

Mother: Ellen G. Rourke

Wife: Lucretia del Valle (m. 18-Oct-1917)

   University: PhD Economics, Columbia University
   Administrator: Dean, College of Commerce, UC Berkeley (1928-37)
   US Ambassador to Iran (1950-51)
   US Ambassador to Greece (1948-50)
   US Ambassador to Nepal (1948)
   US Ambassador to India (1947-48)
   US Commerce Department Economic aide to Secy. Herbert Hoover (1921)
   APL President (1941-47)
   American Economic Association 
   Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society 
   Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity 
   Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity 
   Risk Factors: Obesity
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Henry F. Grady's Timeline

February 12, 1882
San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1, 1917
Age 35
May 11, 1920
Age 38
Paris, Ile-de-France, France
Age 40
September 14, 1957
Age 75
Colma, CA, USA