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Christian Herter

Congressman, Governor of Massachusetts, Secretary of State

Christian Herter

Christian Archibald Herter was born to American parents in Paris, France, on March 28, 1895. He attended the École Alsatienne from 1901 to 1904, before moving to New York City, New York, with his family and graduating from the Browning School in 1911. He received his Bachelor's Degree from Harvard University in 1915 and then did graduate work in architecture and interior design before joining the diplomatic corps.

Subsequent Career

U.S. Embassy in Germany, 1916-1917

Secretary of the U.S. Commission to Negotiate Peace at the Paris Peace Conference, 1918-1919

Personal Assistant to Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover, 1919-1924
Executive Secretary of the European Relief Council, 1920 and 1921

engaged in the publishing business at Boston, Massachusetts, 1924-1937
visiting lecturer on government at Harvard University, 1929 and 1930

Massachusetts House of Representatives, 1931-1943
Speaker of the House, 1939-1943

deputy director of the Office of Facts and Figures, Washington, D.C., 1941 and 1942

U.S. Congressman from Massachusetts, January 3, 1943-January 3, 1953
a report that was written in a committee he chaired initiated proposals that led to President Harry Truman’s Marshall Plan
not a candidate for re-election in 1952

Governor of Massachusetts, 1953-1957

Under Secretary of State, February 21, 1957-April 22, 1959
helped oversee U.S. diplomacy during the 1958 invasion of Lebanon and the 1958 Formosa Strait Crisis

Secretary of State, April 22, 1959-January 20, 1961
named by President Dwight Eisenhower on April 18 to succeed John Foster Dulles, who had resigned for health reasons
led U.S. diplomatic efforts during the U-2 Incident of 1960

Herter being sworn in as Secretary of State
Herter being sworn in as Secretary of State

chairman of the Honorary Council of the International Movement for Atlantic Union, 1961
co-chairman of the United States Citizens Commission on NATO, 1961
elected president of the resulting convention in Paris, January 1962

President’s Special Representative for Trade Negotiations, February 27, 1963-death

Christian A. Herter died in Washington, D.C., on December 30, 1966. He is buried at Prospect Hill Cemetery in Millis, Massachusetts.


Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian

See Also

New York City, New York
Herbert Hoover
President Harry Truman
Lebanon in 1958
1958 Formosa Strait Crisis
President Dwight Eisenhower
John Foster Dulles

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The Robinson Library >> United States >> Early 20th Century >> Biography, A-Z

This page was last updated on December 30, 2018.