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 Robert Strange McNamara

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Robert Strange McNamara

  • Birth 9 Jun 1916 San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA
  • Death 6 Jul 2009 Washington, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA
  • Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
  • Plot Section 2, Grave 1233-A
  • Memorial ID 39126359

Presidential Cabinet Secretary. He graduated from the University of California Berkeley in 1937, earned a master's degree from Harvard University in 1939, and worked for the Price, Waterhouse accounting firm before becoming a member of Harvard's business school faculty. McNamara served in the Army Air Force during World War II, including assignments in the United States and Europe, received several awards, including the Legion of Merit, and attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He then joined Ford Motor, where he rose to company President in 1960. McNamara was offered and accepted the post of Secretary of Defense in John F. Kennedy's cabinet less than five weeks after becoming President of Ford. As Secretary, he restructured the military from relying on a Cold War strategy of massive nuclear weapons strikes to deter Soviet aggression to a flexible strategy of conventional and limited wars meant to contain the spread of communism. Originally a strong supporter of US involvement in Southeast Asia, he remained in the cabinet after Lyndon Johnson became President, but by 1967 he was privately skeptical of the Vietnam war and resigned to become the President of the World Bank, a post he held until 1981. After retiring from the bank he wrote extensively about his experiences, including 1995's "In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam", lectured on politics and current events, and was the subject of the Oscar-winning 2003 documentary film "The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons From the Life of Robert S. McNamara." He was also the recipient of numerous civilian awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Bio by: Bill McKern


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bill McKern
  • Added: 6 Jul 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 39126359
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Robert Strange McNamara (9 Jun 1916–6 Jul 2009), Find A Grave Memorial no. 39126359, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .