Romulo, Carlos P. (Carlos Peña), 1898-1985Variant names
Carlos Peña Romulo QSC CLH NA (14 January 1898 – 15 December 1985) was a Filipino diplomat, statesman, soldier, journalist and author. He was a reporter at 16, a newspaper editor by the age of 20, and a publisher at 32. He was a co-founder of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines, a general in the US Army and the Philippine Army, university president, President of the UN General Assembly, was eventually named one of the Philippines' National Artists in Literature, and was the recipient of many other honors and honorary degrees.
After he completed his studies at the University of the Philippines at Manila in 1918, he moved to New York City to attend Columbia University, graduating in 1921. He later received a degree from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, in 1935. He became a professor of English at the University of the Philippines in 1923 and simultaneously served as the secretary to the President of the Senate of the Philippines, Manuel Quezon. During the 1930s, Romulo became the publisher and editor of The Philippines Herald. At the start of WWII, Major Carlos Romulo served as an aide to General Douglas MacArthur and was one of the last men evacuated from the Philippines before the surrender of US Forces. He reached the rank of general by the end of that war.
After the resignation of Joaquín Miguel Elizalde as Resident Commissioner of the Philippines following the death of President Quezon, new president Sergio Osmeña appointed Romulo to the seat. For much of his first year in the House, while still serving as the Philippines’ secretary of public instruction, Romulo led a public education campaign to inform Congress about the living conditions on the war-ravaged islands. His reports were shocking. By the time the fighting ended, much of the Philippines had been reduced to ruins, and what remained needed to be rebuilt. Beginning in September 1945, Romulo began pushing what would become his signature issue: rebuilding the Philippines using the islands’ trade partnership with the United States. As with trade, Romulo acted as the moral compass for the Philippine Rehabilitation Act of 1946 (S. 1610), which, unlike the trade bill, pumped capital directly into the war-torn commonwealth. He was successful with both trade and rehabilitation. Following the United States recognized the independence of the Republic of the Philippines in 1946, Romulo became the only member of the U.S. Congress to end his tenure via a legal secession from the Union.
Following his leaving Washington, Romulo remained remarkably active on the international stage. He twice served as ambassador to the United States (1952–1953 and 1955–1962), but he made his biggest mark in his work with the United Nations, which he helped charter. On July 9, 1946, the Philippine president appointed Romulo as the new republic’s permanent delegate to the United Nations. The former Resident Commissioner went on to serve as president of the UN General Assembly in 1949 and 1950. He was the Philippines' Secretary (Minister from 1973 to 1984) of Foreign Affairs under President Elpidio Quirino from 1950 to 1952, under President Diosdado Macapagal from 1963 to 1964 and under President Ferdinand Marcos from 1968 to 1984. In April 1955 he led the Philippines' delegation to the Asian-African Conference at Bandung.
Romulo supported President Ferdinand Marcos through most of his presidency. But he resigned in 1983, soon after the assassination of Benigno Aquino, citing poor health. He died, at 87, in Manila on 15 December 1985 and was buried in the Heroes' Cemetery.
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|New York City||NY||US|
|Federal Government Official|
|Representatives, U.S. Congress|