HENRY L. STIMSON: THE MAN (1867 - 1950)

Henry Lewis Stimson, American Statesman, was born in New York City 21 September 1867, graduated from Yale in 1888. After graduate work and law school at Harvard. He entered the law firm headed by Elihu Root and was admitted to the New York Bar in 1891. Two years later he became a partner in the firm. From 1906 to 1909 he was the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York where he made a distinguished record prosecuting antitrust cases. He took active interest in politics and in 1910 was the unsuccessful candidate of the Republican Party for the Gubernatorial Office of New York. He was appointed Secretary of War by President William Howard Taft and served from 1911-1913. Following the outbreak of war, he was a leader in the American effort to aid the stricken people of Belgium. During World War I, Henry L. Stimson was a colonel of field artillery.

After the war he resumed the practice of law. President Calvin Coolidge appointed him Governor General of the Philippine Islands in 1927; two years later he became the Secretary of State in the Cabinet of President Herbert Hoover. In the latter capacity he represented the United States in a number of important international conferences; and in 1932 he enunciated the policy, known as the Stimson Doctrine, declaring the intention of the United States not to recognize “any situation, treaty, or agreement which may be brought about by means contrary to the covenants and obligations of the Pact of Paris” (1928), the Signatories of which agree to outlaw war as an instrument of national policy. 

His management of the Nation's foreign affairs was highlighted by his strong opposition to Japanese occcupation of Manchuria, the first aggressive step which led to World War II. Returning to private life at the end of President Hoover's administration, Stimson was an outspoken advocate of strong opposition to continued Japanese aggression.

Henry L. Stimson was appointed Secretary of War by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940 where he skiffully directed the tremendous expansion of the Army to the force of over 10,000,000 men which crushed Axis ground forces in Europe and the Pacific. He resigned in the fall of 1945, retiring from public office and died at Huntington, NY on 20 October 1950. He was the author of American Policy in Nicaragua (1927), The Far Eastern Crisis (1936), and the autobiographical On Active Service in Peace and War (1948).