McNamara, Robert Strange, 1916-2009


McNamara, Robert Strange, 1916-2009


Bio: Robert Strange McNamara (b. June 9, 1916, in San Francisco, California-d. July 2009, Washington, D.C.) was a business executive and Secretary of Defense during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. During World War II he worked on the deployment of the B-29 bomber, and served in the Army Air Forces in India, China, and the Pacific. He was released from active service in April 1946 with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He joined the Ford Motor Company and served in various positions, eventually becoming president of the Ford Motor Company on November 9, 1960. He only served as president for about one month, when President Kennedy appointed him Secretary of Defense. He was sworn in as Secretary of Defense on January 21, 1961, and became heavily preoccupied with the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. In 1967, he commissioned a study of American involvement in Vietnam, which eventually became know as the Pentagon Papers. At odds with President Johnson over American policy in Vietnam, he resigned as Secretary of Defense in early 1968. He served as president of the World Bank from 1968 to 1981.


Sec. Robert S. McNamara. Cabinet Meeting, Cabinet Room, White House, Washington DC, 2/9/1968. Photo # a5593-33 by Yoichi Okamoto. White House Photo Office collection, LBJ Presidential Library, public domain.


LBJ Connection: Secretary of Defense, 1961-1968; President of The World Bank, 1968-1981