Stimson, Henry

Stimson, Henry (Lewis)

(1867–1950) lawyer, public official; born in New York City. A graduate of Yale and Harvard, he joined Elihu Root's law firm (1893) and was appointed U.S. district attorney for the Southern District of New York by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. After failing as Republican candidate for governor, he served as secretary of war in the Taft administration (1911–13), delegate-at-large to the New York constitutional convention, and governor general of the Philippines (1927–29). As secretary of state under President Hoover (1929–33) he drew fire for his "Stimson Doctrine" of nonrecognition of Japanese rule in Manchuria (1931). Despite his Republican affiliation, he was chosen by President Franklin Roosevelt as secretary of war (1940–45) and he supervised mobilization, training, and general war operations with energy and skill. As chief presidential adviser on atomic policy, he advised President Truman to drop the atomic bomb on Japanese cities of strategic importance (1945).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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(Although some--our current president among them--have made S&B because they were the sons of the American elite.) Members have included William Howard Taft, Henry Stimson, Henry Luce, Averell Harriman, a smattering of Bundys and at least three generations of Bushes.