Considered a key architect of America's foreign policy in the mid-20th century, former Secretary of State Dean Gooderham Acheson (1898-1986) was born on this day in Middletown, Connecticut.
A graduate of Harvard Law School, he clerked for Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis and became a prominent Washington attorney. He once said: "Controversial proposals, once accepted, soon become hallowed."
Called "among the greatest Secretaries of State this country had" by President Harry S Truman, Acheson negotiated the Truman Doctrine (1947), Marshall Plan (1947-1948), and NATO alliance (1949). He also helped establish the World Bank and worked passionately to shape policies to contain Soviet Union power.
"The most important aspect of the relationship between the president and the secretary of state is that they both understand who is president," the American statesman said.
A close friend to Adlai Stevenson and advisor to John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon, Acheson convinced Johnson to stop the North Vietnam bombing. "Always remember that the future comes one day at a time," Acheson said.
He wrote several books including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Present at the Creation (1969). He said, "The great corrupter of public man is the ego... Looking at the mirror distracts one's attention from the problem."
Endure what you must, but let go of all that you can.