Douglas MacArthur II

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), November 19, 1997 | Go to article overview

Douglas MacArthur II


At a time such as ours, when the call to public service has suffered a regrettable decline in esteem due to the unrestrained activities of political office holders, it is salutary to reflect on the distinguished career of a man such as Douglas MacArthur II. Mr. MacArthur, nephew of the great general and his namesake, passed away on Sunday at the age of 88 at Georgetown University Hospital in the city he made his home. His was the kind of dedication that helped make this country great and keep it safe, spanning almost 40 of this century's most turbulent years in the U.S. diplomatic corps.

Mr. MacArthur entered a career in the foreign service in 1935, as the storm clouds of fascism were gathering over Europe. His first posting was to Canada, followed by European assignments, which landed him in the difficult posting of U.S. ambassador to nazi-occupied Vichy France. When Marshal Petain in 1942 broke relations with the United States, Mr. MacArthur was held in Nazi internment for 16 months. After the Allied victory, Mr. MacArthur returned to France as ambassador and rose to become Chief of the State Department's Division of European Affairs in 1949. But it was Mr. MacArthur's posting to Japan that constituted his most important contribution to American foreign policy. …

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