Lovett, Robert A. (Robert Abercrombie), 1895-1986

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1895-09-14
Death 1986-05-07
English

Biographical notes:

Robert Abercrombie Lovett was born in Huntsville, Texas, on September 14, 1895. After receiving a B.A. from Yale in 1918 and attending Harvard Law School and the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, Lovett became a partner in Brown Brothers, Harriman & Co. Aside from his periods of government service, Lovett was associated with Brown Brothers, Harriman & Co. for the remainder of his life. From 1941-1945, Lovett served as assistant secretary of war for air. During the Truman administration, Lovett served as under secretary of state (1947-1949), deputy secretary of defense (1950-1951), and secretary of defense (1951-1953). Lovett died on May 7, 1986, in Locust Valley, New York.

From the description of Robert Abercrombie Lovett papers, 1919-1986 (inclusive). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702121379

Banker, government official.

From the description of Reminiscences of Robert Abercrombie Lovett : oral history, 1959. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 86131406

From the description of Reminiscences of Robert Abercrombie Lovett : oral history, 1975. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122608407

From the description of Reminiscences of Robert Abercrombie Lovett : oral history, 1971. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122528245

Robert Abercrombie Lovett was born in Huntsville, Texas, on September 14, 1895. After receiving a B.A. from Yale in 1918 and attending Harvard Law School and the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, Lovett became a partner in Brown Brothers, Harriman & Co. Aside from his periods of government service, Lovett was associated with Brown Brothers, Harriman & Co. for the remainder of his life. From 1941-1945, Lovett served as assistant secretary of war for air. During the Truman administration, Lovett served as under secretary of state (1947-1949), deputy secretary of defense (1950-1951), and secretary of defense (1951-1953). Lovett died on May 7, 1986, in Locust Valley, New York.

Robert Abercrombie Lovett was born in Huntsville, Texas, on September 14, 1885, the son of Robert Scott and Lavinia Chilton Abercrombie Lovett. The senior Lovett served as general counsel to E. H. Harriman's Union Pacific Railroad. When he became a director of the railroad in 1909, he moved his family to Locust Valley, New York.

Lovett graduated from the Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, in 1914. He entered Yale University with the class of 1918 and was a junior when America entered World War I. Leaving school to join the war effort, he became an ensign and helped organize the first Yale Unit of Naval Aircraft. After receiving pilot's training, he flew many sorties over Germany and Belgium. He was discharged from the navy in 1919 as a lieutenant commander. On April 19, 1919, he married his Long Island neighbor, Adele Quarterly Brown, daughter of James Brown, the senior partner of the investment firm of Brown Brothers.

After completing his bachelor's degree at Yale, Lovett studied law and business at Harvard University. In 1921, he returned to New York, where he worked briefly as a clerk in a New York bank. Lovett then was given a position at Brown Brothers. He became a firm partner in 1926 and in the same year was elected a director of the Union Pacific Railroad and several of its subsidiaries. Not long after he effected the merger of the Harriman investment interests into what became the banking concern of Brown Brothers, Harriman & Co.

Through work in the firm's branch offices in London and on the Continent, Lovett became aware of the threat posed to world peace by Hitler's rise to power. On his own initiative, Lovett toured aircraft plants in the United States and prepared a report emphasizing the need for rapid development of military aviation. The report came to the attention of Robert Patterson, then under secretary of the army, who, in 1940, named Lovett his special assistant.

Henry L. Stimson, the secretary of war, asked Lovett to assume the position of assistant secretary of war for air in April, 1941. In this post Lovett directed the growth of United States air power and gained for the air corps the semi-autonomous status which it held within the army throughout World War II. In September, 1945, Lovett received the Distinguished Service Medal, and in December, resigned from government service to resume his work with Brown Brothers, Harriman & Co.

Lovett returned to Washington in 1947 when he was appointed under secretary of state by Secretary of State George C. Marshall, a post which he held until Marshall left the State Department in January, 1949. During the Korean War, Lovett once again held positions in the Truman administration, from 1950-1951 as deputy secretary of defense and from 1951-1953 as secretary of defense.

Resuming his business interests in New York in 1953, Lovett retained his concern for military affairs. He was appointed to several presidential commissions and testified before Congress. He also served on the boards of several foundations and charitable organizations. Lovett retired from the board of Union Pacific in 1976 and died at his home in Locust Valley, New York, on May 7, 1986.

From the guide to the Robert Abercrombie Lovett papers, 1919-1986, (Manuscripts and Archives)

Loading...

Loading Relationships

Information

Permalink:
http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w60z7nkm
Ark ID:
w60z7nkm
SNAC ID:
70392619

Subjects:

  • World War, 1939-1945--Aerial operations, American
  • Economic assistance, American
  • Aeronautics--History
  • Investment banking
  • Diplomatic negotiations in international disputes
  • Negotiation

Occupations:

  • Government executives--American
  • Government executives--United States
  • Diplomats--American

Places:

  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • American (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)