Robert McNamara

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Robert Strange McNamara (June 9, 1916 – July 6, 2009)[4] was an American business executive and the eighth Secretary of Defense, serving under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson from 1961 to 1968. Following that he served as President of the World Bank from 1968 until 1981. McNamara was responsible for the institution of systems analysis in public policy, which developed into the discipline known today as policy analysis.[5]


Early life and career

Robert McNamara was born in San Francisco, California.[3] His father was Robert James McNamara, sales manager of a wholesale shoe company. His mother was Clara Nell Strange McNamara, whose maiden name was given as her son's middle name.[6][7] According to McNamara, his father's family was Irish and in about 1850, following the Great Irish Famine, had immigrated to Massachusetts and later to California.[8] He graduated from Piedmont High School in Piedmont, California in 1933 where he was president of the Rigma Lions boys club[9] and earned the rank of Eagle Scout. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1937 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics with minors in mathematics and philosophy. He was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity,[10] was elected to Phi Beta Kappa his sophomore year and earned a varsity letter in crew. He was also a member of the UC Berkeley's Order of the Golden Bear which was a fellowship of students and leading faculty members formed to promote leadership within the student body. He earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1939.

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