Harriman, William Averell


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Harriman, William Averell

(ā`vərəl), 1891–1986, American public official; son of E. H. HarrimanHarriman, Edward Henry,
1848–1909, American railroad executive, b. Hempstead, N.Y.; father of William Averell Harriman. He became a stockbroker in New York City and soon entered the railroad field, where he attracted attention by able management of the Illinois Central RR,
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. Expanding his railroad inheritance, W. Averell Harriman became a banker and shipbuilder and later (1932) board chairman of the Union Pacific. He was administrative officer (1934–35) of the NRA and an official (1937–40) in the Dept. of Commerce, then became (1941) chief overseas administrator of lend-lease. He was ambassador to the USSR (1943–46) and to Great Britain (1946). After serving (1946–48) as Secretary of Commerce, he was appointed (Apr., 1948) U.S. representative abroad for the European Recovery Program and later (1951–53), director of the Mutual Security Agency. He was elected governor of New York (1955–59) and was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1956. Defeated for reelection in 1958 by Nelson A. Rockefeller, he became in 1961 President John F. Kennedy's special roving ambassador. He was Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs (1963–65) and ambassador-at-large (1965–68) for President Lyndon B. Johnson. In 1968, when the Paris peace talks on Vietnam opened, he was chief U.S. negotiator. He is the author of Peace with Russia (1959) and America and Russia in a Changing World (1971).

Harriman, William Averell

 

Born Nov. 15, 1891, in New York. American politician and diplomat. Millionaire with investments in railroads and airlines, banks, and insurance companies.

Harriman began his political career in the 1920’s in the Republican Party, but since 1928 he has been a member of the Democratic Party. For a long time he was an adviser to F. Roosevelt (president, 1933-45) on financial and industrial affairs. In September 1941 he headed the US delegation at the three-power conference in Moscow. During 1943-46, Harriman was ambassador to the USSR, and from April to September 1946 he was ambassador to Great Britain. From 1946 to 1948 he was secretary of commerce and from 1948 to 1950 head of the American agency in Europe to carry out the Marshall Plan. During 1950-51 he was a special adviser to President H. Truman on foreign policy questions, and during 1951-53, he was head of the agency to carry out the mutual security program. From 1954 to 1958, Harriman was governor of New York. In 1961 and during 1965-69 he was an ambassador-at-large and during 1963-65, undersecretary of state. From May 1968 to January 1969 he headed the US delegation to the conferences on Vietnam in Paris.

D. S. ASANOV