Henry L. Stimson
Henry Lewis Stimson (September 21, 1867 – October 20, 1950) was an American statesman, lawyer and Republican Party politician. Over his long career, he emerged as a leading figure in the foreign policy of the United States, serving in Republican and Democratic administrations. He served as Secretary of War (1911–1913) under William Howard Taft, Secretary of State (1929–1933) under Herbert Hoover, and Secretary of War (1940–1945) under Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman.
The son of surgeon Lewis Atterbury Stimson, Stimson became a Wall Street lawyer after graduating from Harvard Law School. He served as a United States Attorney under President Theodore Roosevelt, prosecuting several antitrust cases. After being defeated in the 1910 New York gubernatorial election, Stimson served as Secretary of War under Taft. He continued the reorganization of the United States Army that had begun under his mentor, Elihu Root. After the outbreak of World War I, Stimson became part of the Preparedness Movement. He served as an artillery officer in France after the U.S. entered the war. From 1927 to 1929, he served as Governor-General of the Philippines under President Calvin Coolidge.
In 1929, President Hoover appointed Stimson as Secretary of State. Stimson sought to limit worldwide naval build-up and helped negotiate the London Naval Treaty to that end. He protested the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, instituting the Stimson Doctrine of non-recognition of international territorial changes that were executed by force. After World War II broke out in Europe, Stimson accepted Roosevelt’s appointment to the position of Secretary of War. After the United States entered World War II, Stimson took charge of raising and training 13 million soldiers and airmen, supervised the spending of a third of the nation’s GDP on the Army and the Air Forces, helped formulate military strategy, and oversaw the Manhattan Project, which built the first atomic bombs. He supported the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
During and after the war, Stimson strongly opposed the Morgenthau Plan, which would have de-industrialized and partitioned Germany into several smaller states. He also insisted on judicial proceedings against Nazi war criminals, leading to the Nuremberg trials. Stimson retired from office in September 1945 and died in 1950.