Clayton, Will, 1880-1966

Alternative names
Birth 1880-02-07
Death 1966-02-08

Biographical notes:

United States assistant secretary and undersecretary of state for economic affairs, 1944-1947.

From the description of Will Clayton papers, 1896-1990. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 123379390

Will (William Lockhart) Clayton (1880-1966) served as the Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs from 1946 to 1947.

From the description of Clayton, Will (William Lockhart), 1880-1966 (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10575790

Businessman and government official; b. William Lockhart Clayton.

From the description of Papers, 1926-1966. (Harry S Truman Library). WorldCat record id: 70943869

Cotton executive, government official.

From the description of Reminiscences of William Lockhart Clayton : oral history, 1962. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 309729580

From the description of Reminiscences of William Lockhart Clayton : oral history, 1947. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122513141

William Lockhart Clayton (1880-1966) served the U.S. government in a number of economics-related capacities, was in the cotton business, and a co-founder of Anderson, Clayton and Company, based in Houston, Texas.

From the description of William Lockhart Clayton papers, 1897-1998. (Rice University). WorldCat record id: 124202483

William Lockhart Clayton (1880-1966) worked in the New York office of the American Cotton Company from 1896 to 1904, eventually becoming assistant general manager.

Clayton left the American Cotton Company in 1904 to form Anderson, Clayton and Company, a successful, Oklahoma City-based cotton enterprise. In 1916 the firm moved its headquarters to Houston.

During World War I Clayton served on the Committee of Cotton Distribution of the War Industries Board.

In 1940, after resigning from management of his cotton firm, he became deputy to the coordinator of inter-American affairs in Washington, D.C. He went on to work in a number of high-level positions with the Export-Import Bank, the Department of Commerce, and wartime agencies until 1944. For the next three years, Clayton was assistant and then undersecretary of state for economic affairs. This was the position in which capacity he became a key member of the European Recovery Program (the Marshall Plan).

Clayton instituted a fund from which he donated charitably to Johns Hopkins University, Tufts University, the University of Texas, and the Methodist Church. He died in 1966 and was buried in Houston.

From the description of Clayton, William Lockhart Papers, 1947, 1950 (University of Texas Libraries). WorldCat record id: 777620712


  • 1880 Feb. 7: Born, Tupelo, Mississippi
  • 1902 Aug. 14: Married Susan Vaughan
  • 1904: Co-founder, Anderson, Clayton & Co., Houston, Texas
  • 1918: Member, Committee on Cotton Distribution, War Industries Board
  • 1940 - 1942 : Vice-President, Export-Import Bank
  • 1942 - 1944 : Assistant Secretary of Commerce
  • 1944: Administrator, Surplus War Property Administration
  • 1944 - 1945 : Assistant Secretary of State
  • 1945 - 1947 : Undersecretary of State for Economic Affairs
  • 1947: Head, U.S. Delegation, United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment, Havana, Cuba
  • 1946 - 1949 : Alternate Governor, World Bank
  • 1949 - 1961 : Vice President, Atlantic Union Committee
  • 1950: Author, We Must Trade Sovereignty for Freedom
  • 1951 - 1954 : Member, National Security Training Commission
  • 1955: Author, The Road to Peace
  • 1958: Author, What Price Oil?
  • 1958: Author, We Are Losing the Cold War
  • 1960: Chairman, National Committee on Campaign Contributions and Expenditures
  • 1960 - : Board of Governors, Atlantic Institute
  • 1961: Co-Chairman, U.S. Citizens Commission on NATO
  • 1966 Feb. 9: Died, Houston, Texas

From the guide to the Will Clayton Papers, 1896-1990, (Hoover Institution Archives)


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Ark ID:


  • Government executives--Interviews
  • Economic assistance, American--History--20th century
  • New Deal, 1933-1939
  • Economic assistance, American
  • Cotton industry
  • Surplus military property
  • Marshall Plan
  • Cotton manufacture
  • Statesmen
  • Reconstruction (1939-1951)--Europe
  • Cotton trade
  • Agricultural administration
  • Cotton trade--United States
  • Economic assistance, American--Europe
  • Commerce
  • Reconstruction (1939-1951)
  • Executives--Interviews


  • Government executives--United States
  • Businessmen--Texas
  • Merchants--Texas
  • Statesmen--United States


  • United States (as recorded)
  • Europe (as recorded)
  • Washington (D.C.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Europe (as recorded)
  • Europe (as recorded)
  • Texas (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Houston (Tex.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Texas (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Texas--Houston (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)