Secretaries of State Since WWII

This section gives information on each Secretary of State since World War II.  In addition to brief text and references, video clips on several are also included.



George Catlett Marshall -- 1947-1949

General George Marshall was a much-honored military leader in the Allied victory in World War II. In 1945 President Truman appointed him a special ambassador in a failed effort to prevent civil war in China. He is best remembered for his June 5, 1947, address at Harvard University, which unveiled the visionary European Recovery Program – later called the “Marshall Plan” – to help rebuild Western Europe in the postwar period. For this remarkable achievement, Marshall was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the only military professional ever to be so honored. Although enjoying high personal prestige, he was overruled by President Truman when he (and most others within the State Department) opposed recognizing the new state of Israel in 1948.

  • Donovan, Robert J. The Second Victory: The Marshall Plan and the Post War Revival of Europe. New York: Madison, 1988.
  • Pogue, Forrest C. George C. Marshall. New York: Viking Press, 1963 (4 vols.).
  • Stoler, Mark A. George C. Marshall: Soldier-Statesman of the American Century. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989.