John J. McCloy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

John J. McCloy
John J. McCloy - Project Gutenberg etext 20587.jpg
2nd President of the World Bank Group
In office
March 1947 – June 1949
Preceded byEugene Meyer
Succeeded byEugene R. Black, Sr.
Personal details
BornJohn Jay McCloy
(1895-03-31)31 March 1895
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died11 March 1989(1989-03-11) (aged 93)
Stamford, Connecticut
NationalityAmerican
Spouse(s)Ellen Zinsser
Alma materAmherst College, Harvard Law School
 
Jump to: navigation, search
John J. McCloy
John J. McCloy - Project Gutenberg etext 20587.jpg
2nd President of the World Bank Group
In office
March 1947 – June 1949
Preceded byEugene Meyer
Succeeded byEugene R. Black, Sr.
Personal details
BornJohn Jay McCloy
(1895-03-31)31 March 1895
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died11 March 1989(1989-03-11) (aged 93)
Stamford, Connecticut
NationalityAmerican
Spouse(s)Ellen Zinsser
Alma materAmherst College, Harvard Law School

John Jay McCloy (March 31, 1895 – March 11, 1989, was a Wall Street lawyer and banker who served as Assistant Secretary of War during World War II, where he made many major decisions. After the war he served as president of the World Bank, U.S. High Commissioner for Germany, chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank, and chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations. He later became a prominent United States presidential advisor, served on the Warren Commission, and was a member of the foreign policy establishment group of elders called "The Wise Men."

Career[edit]

Early years[edit]

McCloy's father was a successful insurance man who died when the son was five, The mother was a hairdresser in Philadelphia with many high society clients. McCloy was educated at Peddie School, New Jersey, and Amherst College. He was an average student who excelled at tennis and moved smoothly among the sons of the nation's elite.[1]

He enrolled in Harvard Law School in 1916, where he was an average student. He was profoundly influence by his experience at the Plattsburg Preparedness camps. When the U.S. entered the war in 1917 he joined as a Second Lieutenant. He served as the aide to a general in the American Expeditionary Force in France in 1918, and saw combat service in the last weeks of the war as commander of an artillery battery. He received his LL.B. from Harvard in 1921.[2]

Wall Street lawyer[edit]

McCloy went to New York to become an associate in the firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham, and Taft, which was one of the nation's most prestigious law firms. He moved to Cravath, Henderson, & de Gersdorff in 1924, where he worked with many wealthy clients, such as the St. Paul railroad. He did a great deal of work for corporations in Nazi Germany. By the time he left for government service in 1940, McCloy earned about $45,000 a year and had savings of $106,000. His involvement in litigation over a World War I sabotage case gave him a strong interest in intelligence issues and in German affairs.[3]

In politics, McCloy was an avid Republican, giving strong support to Wendell Willkie against Roosevelt in 1940. In the foreign-policy debates, he emphasized the urgent need to defeat Germany. He joined the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies, and other interventionist organizations. [4]

World War II[edit]

Secretary of War Henry Stimson hired McCloy as a consultant in September 1940, and he became immersed in war planning, even though he was a Republican and voted against Roosevelt in the November 1940 presidential election.[5] He was made Assistant Secretary of War, reporting to Secretary of War Henry Stimson. He had only civilian responsibilities, especially the purchase of war materials for the Army, Lend Lease, the draft, and issues of intelligence and sabotage.[6]

In his role in fighting sabotage, McCoy became largely responsible for Roosevelt's decision to intern Japanese Americans in relocation camps in 1942. The generals on the scene had insisted on it to prevent sabotage, and the Army's G-2 (intelligence division) concluded that is was needed. A key document was a MAGIC interception of a Japanese diplomat in Los Angeles who reported, "We also have connections with our second generations working in airplane plants for intelligence purposes."[7] McCloy was responsible for supervising the evacuations to the camps, but the camps were run by a civilian agency.[8] The actions were approved by the Supreme Court. Daniels says McCloy was strongly opposed to reopening the judicial verdicts on the constitutionality of the internment.[9]

And indefatigable committee member, McCloy during the war served on the government task forces that built the Pentagon, created the Office of Strategic Services (it eventually became the Central Intelligence Agency), and proposed the United Nations, and the war crimes tribunals. He chaired the predecessor to the National Security Council. As chairman of the army's Advisory Committee on Negro Troop Policy, he at first opposed the civil rights spokesman who wanted the Army to end segregation. However, he changed his mind and in late 1945, just before leaving the government to return to Wall Street, he proposed ending segregation in the military. In 1945, he and Stimson convinced President Truman to reject the Morgenthau Plan and not strip Germany of its industrial capacity. [10]

President of the World Bank and US High Commissioner in Germany[edit]

From March 1947 to June 1949, McCloy was president of the World Bank.

Ulm School of Design (Hochschule für Gestaltung - HfG Ulm) 1953-68

On March 17, 1949, he and General Alvan Cullom Gillem, Jr. testified before the President’s Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services.

In 1949 he replaced Lucius D. Clay as military governor for the U.S. Zone in Germany as the U.S. High Commissioner for Germany and held this position until 1952, during which time he oversaw the creation of the Federal Republic of Germany. At the strong urging of the German government, he approved recommendations for pardoning and commutation of sentences of Nazi criminals, including those of the prominent industrialists Friedrich Flick, Alfried Krupp, and Martin Sandberger. McCloy also granted the restitution of Krupp's and Flick's entire property. McCloy also pardoned Ernst von Weizsäcker. Some of the less notable figures were retried and convicted by the government of the newly independent West Germany.

McCloy supported the initiative of Inge Aicher-Scholl (the sister of Sophie Scholl), Otl Aicher and Max Bill to found the Ulm School of Design.[11] HfG Ulm is considered to be the most influential design school in the world after the Bauhaus. The founders sought and received support in the USA(via Walter Gropius) and within the American High Command in Germany. McCloy saw the endeavor as Project No. 1 and supported a college and campus combination along US examples. In 1952 Scholl received from McCloy a cheque for one million Deutschmarks.[12]

His successor as High Commissioner was James B. Conant; the office was terminated in 1955.

Corporate leadership[edit]

Following this, he served as chairman of the Chase Manhattan Bank from 1953 to 1960, and as chairman of the Ford Foundation from 1958 to 1965; he was also a trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation from 1946 to 1949, and then again from 1953 to 1958, before he took up the position at Ford.

From 1954 to 1970, he was chairman of the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations in New York, to be succeeded by David Rockefeller, who had worked closely with him at the Chase Bank. McCloy had a long association with the Rockefeller family, going back to his early Harvard days when he taught the young Rockefeller brothers how to sail. He was also a member of the Draper Committee, formed in 1958 by Eisenhower.

He later served as advisor to John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, and was the primary negotiator on the Presidential Disarmament Committee. In 1963, he was awarded the prestigious Sylvanus Thayer Award by the United States Military Academy for his service to the country.

On December 6, 1963, he was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, with Special Distinction, by President Lyndon B. Johnson

Warren Commission[edit]

He was selected by LBJ to serve on the Warren Commission in 1963. Notably, he was initially skeptical of the lone gunman theory, but a trip to Dallas with CIA veteran Allen Dulles, an old friend also serving on the Commission, convinced him of the case against Oswald. McCoy brokered the final consensus — avoiding a minority dissenting report — and the crucial wording of the primary conclusion of the final report. He stated that any possible evidence of a conspiracy was "beyond the reach" of all of America's investigatory agencies — principally the FBI and the CIA — as well as the Commission itself.

From 1966 to 1968 he was Honorary Chairman of the Paris-based Atlantic Institute.[13]

Law firm background[edit]

Originally a partner of the Cravath firm in New York, after the war McCloy became a name partner in the Rockefeller-associated prominent New York law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. In this capacity he acted for the "Seven Sisters", the leading multinational oil companies, including Exxon, in their initial confrontations with the nationalisation movement in Libya—as well as negotiations with Saudi Arabia and OPEC. Because of his stature in the legal world and his long association with the Rockefellers, and as a presidential adviser, he was sometimes referred to as the "Chairman of the American Establishment".

Awards[edit]

McCloy is a recipient of the Association Medal of the New York City Bar Association in recognition of exceptional contributions to the honor and standing of the Bar in the community.

He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Wilmington College (Ohio) in 1963.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bird (1992) pp 24-41
  2. ^ Bird (1992) pp 41-53
  3. ^ Kai Bird, The Chairman (1992) ch 5-6
  4. ^ Bird, (1992) p 109-12
  5. ^ Bird. The Chairman (1992) p 113
  6. ^ Bird. The Chairman (1992) pp 117-268
  7. ^ Bird. The Chairman (1992) p 155-56
  8. ^ Bird. The Chairman (1992) pp 147-74
  9. ^ Roger Daniels, Unfinished Business: The Japanese-American Internment Cases (1986)[1]
  10. ^ Wolf, 2000
  11. ^ See Ulm School of Design HfG Ulm: Archive
  12. ^ Background of HFG (in German)
  13. ^ Who Was Who. A&C Black. 2007. 

Further reading[edit]

Additional sources[edit]

External links[edit]

Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
Eugene Meyer
President of the World Bank
1947 – 1949
Succeeded by
Eugene R. Black, Sr.
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Lucius D. Clay
American High Commissioner for Occupied Germany
1949 - 1952
Succeeded by
James B. Conant
Business positions
Preceded by
Winthrop Aldrich
Chase CEO
1953-1960
Succeeded by
George Champion
Awards
Preceded by
Douglas MacArthur
Sylvanus Thayer Award recipient
1963
Succeeded by
Robert A. Lovett