Clay, Lucius

Clay, Lucius (DuBignon)

(1897–1978) soldier; born in Marietta, Ga. A 1918 West Point engineering graduate, he served in a succession of engineering posts in the 1920s and 1930s, many involving water and hydroelectric projects. As a deputy chief of staff from 1942 to 1944, Clay oversaw the army's vast production and procurement programs. In November 1944 he went overseas to command the Normandy base and the port of Cherbourg, which supplied the Allied forces in their drive through France and Germany. After Germany's surrender, Clay helped establish a military government in the U.S. zone of occupation, and served as military governor from 1947 to 1949. As commander of U.S. forces in Europe, he organized the Berlin airlift of 1948, a massive supply effort that ultimately broke the Soviet blockade of the German capital. He retired in 1949 and began a second career as a business executive and Republican Party activist. President Kennedy chose him to be his personal representative in Berlin during the 1961 Berlin Crisis. From 1968–74, he was chairman of Radio Free Europe.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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