William Averell Harriman

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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(15) W. Averell Harriman and Elie Abel, Special Envoy to Churchill and Stalin, 1941-46 (New York: Random House, 1975), 369-70.
The 55-acre estate of former New York State Governor W. Averell Harriman which overlooks the Croton Reservoir in the towns of Yorktown and Somers in northern Westchester County, will be revitalized thanks to the foresight of two luxury home builders who have acquired the property.
We learn of Bullitt's ready grasp of Stalin's duplicity and the folly of FDR's early policy, the ineptitude of Joseph Davies's tenure in Moscow during the purges of the late 1930s, and the recognition by Laurence Steinhardt, Admiral William Standley, and W. Averell Harriman of the inherent flaws and dangers of Roosevelt's policy toward Stalin during the war.