Rusk, Dean

Rusk, Dean

(David Dean Rusk), 1909–94, U.S. secretary of state (1961–69), b. Cherokee co., Ga. After teaching (1934–40) and serving in World War II, he entered (1946) the Dept. of State. In 1950 he became assistant secretary of state for Far Eastern Affairs and played a major role in the U.S. decision to take military action in the Korean WarKorean War,
conflict between Communist and non-Communist forces in Korea from June 25, 1950, to July 27, 1953. At the end of World War II, Korea was divided at the 38th parallel into Soviet (North Korean) and U.S. (South Korean) zones of occupation.
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. After serving (1952–61) as president of the Rockefeller Foundation, Rusk became (1961) secretary of state in President John F. KennedyKennedy, John Fitzgerald,
1917–63, 35th President of the United States (1961–63), b. Brookline, Mass.; son of Joseph P. Kennedy. Early Life

While an undergraduate at Harvard (1936–40) he served briefly in London as secretary to his father, who was
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's cabinet and continued to hold the post under President Lyndon B. JohnsonJohnson, Lyndon Baines,
1908–73, 36th President of the United States (1963–69), b. near Stonewall, Tex. Early Life

Born into a farm family, he graduated (1930) from Southwest Texas State Teachers College (now Southwest Texas State Univ.), in San Marcos.
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. He supported economic aid to underdeveloped nations, low tariffs to encourage world trade, and the 1963 nuclear test ban treaty with the Soviet Union. A firm believer in the use of military force to prevent Communist expansion, Rusk strongly defended the Vietnam WarVietnam War,
conflict in Southeast Asia, primarily fought in South Vietnam between government forces aided by the United States and guerrilla forces aided by North Vietnam. The war began soon after the Geneva Conference provisionally divided (1954) Vietnam at 17° N lat.
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. Following his retirement from public service, he taught international law at the Univ. of Georgia (1970–84).

Bibliography

See The Winds of Freedom, selections from his speeches, ed. by E. K. Lindley (1963).

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Rusk, Dean

(1909–94) public official; born in Cherokee County, Ga. After serving in the Far East during World War II, he joined the state department in 1945, becoming assistant secretary of state in 1949. He was president of the Rockefeller Foundation from 1951 to 1960. As secretary of state under presidents Kennedy and Johnson, he became most identified with the latter's Vietnam War policy. He went on to teach at the University of Georgia in 1969.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.