“The greatest mistake I made was not to die in office”

Dean Gooderham Acheson was born at Middletown, Connecticut on this day in 1893. He was educated at Harvard, then went on to Yale Law School, and clerked for Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis. He served as Undersecretary of the Treasury under Roosevelt early in his term, and as Assistant Secretary of State during World War II. Truman named him Undersecretary of State in 1945 and Secretary of State in 1949. He was instrumental in the Bretton Woods Conference, which created most of the post-war economic structure, developed the Truman Doctrine of containment of Communism, and designed the Marshall Plan. He returned to private law practice after the 1952 election, but was a close advisor to presidents Kennedy, Johnson and even his old nemesis Nixon.

Some of his more memorial quotes are:

“The greatest mistake I made was not to die in office.”

“If we learn the art of yielding what must be yielded to the changing present, we can save the best of the past.”

“A memorandum is written not to inform the reader but to protect the writer.”

“Controversial proposals, once accepted, soon become hallowed.”

“Negotiating in the classic diplomatic sense assumes parties more anxious to agree than to disagree.”

“No people in history have ever survived who thought they could protect their freedom by making themselves inoffensive to their enemies.”

– All from Dean Acheson, 1893 – 1971

I personally feel that Mr. Obama could learn a thing or two from the last quote.

Just my .02 worth

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James A. Restucci is the author of this blog. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Internal License.

2 Responses to “The greatest mistake I made was not to die in office”

  1. Avatarjim® says:

    Reminds me of the old (and this will date me military wise) DF or Distribution Form. At the bottom was the signature block, which was commonly referred to as the “Blame Line”

  2. AvatarTVNews says:

    I really like, “A memorandum is written not to inform the reader but to protect the writer.” In fact I’m writing that one down.