Honored Leader of the Right Brigade
Zumwalt, James, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
A celebration this January in D.C. generated letters of congratulations from several world leaders, including England's former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Germany's Chancellor Helmut Kohl. It sparked congratulatory letters as well from former national leaders, such as George Bush. The event in question was not the Inauguration, for letters of congratulations also flowed from President and Mrs. Clinton and Vice President and Mrs. Al Gore. The event - a birthday celebration for a noted elderly American statesman - passed largely unnoticed by a generation of Americans caught up in the festivities of the Inaugural weekend. Americans who, purportedly, are very optimistic as they enter the era of the last U.S. presidential term of the 20th century, are mostly unaware of the work of one man, spanning more than half this century, which made such optimism possible.
The event, which brought 300 wellwishers together who otherwise might have participated in the Inaugural festivities, was the occasion of this man's 90th birthday. He is Ambassador Paul H. Nitze.
While few Americans might recognize the name, the significant contributions Mr. Nitze has made to their security and world stability cannot be denied. His steady hand on the helm of America's ship of state as it sailed through some of the most turbulent waters of the Cold War enabled all onboard to make the transit safely.
Mr. Nitze's career began on Wall Street, where he joined the banking firm of Dillon, Read and Co. in 1928. He developed a keen sense for quickly assessing the viability of any financial opportunity, an ability that would serve him well as he later went to work for the U.S. government, where he began making much more important assessments - those of the Soviet strategic threat. On Wall Street, this ability served him well personally, making his first million while still in his early 20s. His accuracy in assessing and predicting the future course of economic events was demonstrated when he became a harbinger, contrary to prevailing opinion, that America was indeed heading for a depression.
Mr. Nitze's goverment service began in 1941. He would serve every president from Franklin Roosevelt through Ronald Reagan, with the exception of the Carter years. His continued service under presidents of both political parties was the real testimonial to the important role he played - and the major contributions he made - as he served in a number of senior level State and Defense Department positions. …