Henry L. Stimson

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Henry Lewis Stimson (September 21, 1867 – October 20, 1950) was an American statesman, lawyer and soldier, and a member of the Republican Party. He served as Secretary of War on two occasions (1911–13, 1940–45), overseeing a military buildup prior to the First World War, the United States' entry into the Second World War, for which he is best known, and the Manhattan Project. He also served as a diplomat to Nicaragua and as Governor-General of the Philippines, opposing autonomy for both. During his stint as Secretary of State (1929–33) he articulated the Stimson Doctrine, the cornerstone of American foreign policy for the next ten years.


Early career

Born to a wealthy New York family long involved in Republican Party politics, he was educated at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, where a dormitory is named and dedicated to him, and at Yale College (BA 1888), where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa[1] and Skull and Bones, a secret society that afforded many contacts for the rest of his life. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1890 and joined the prestigious Wall Street law firm of Root and Clark in 1891, becoming a partner two years later. Elihu Root, a future Secretary of War and Secretary of State, became a major influence on and role model for Stimson.[2]

In 1893, Stimson married Mabel Wellington White, a great-great granddaughter of American founding father Roger Sherman and the sister of Elizabeth Selden Rogers. They had no children.

In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed Stimson U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Here, he made a distinguished record prosecuting antitrust cases. Stimson later served from 1937 to 1939 as president of the New York City Bar Association, where a medal honoring service as a U.S. Attorney is still awarded in his honor.

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