Matteson, Robert Eliot, 1914-1994

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Technical sergeant, United States Army; member, Counter Intelligence Corps, during World War II; subsequently aide to Governor Harold Stassen of Minnesota.

From the description of Robert Eliot Matteson pamphlets, 1993. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 123429944

Matteson was born Sept. 13, 1914 in St. Paul, Minn and died Jan. 24, 1994. He had a long and varied career as a government official, college faculty member, intelligence agent, expert on arms control and Russia, author, canoeist and explorer. His career in government (1953-1972) included director of the White House disarmament staff in the 1950s, chief of staff for the Foreign Operations Administration, member of the Central Intelligence Agency's Board of National Intelligence Estimates and director of civilian operations in the II Corps sector in Vietnam. In World War II, he served in the 80th Infantry Division in Europe. Matteson also founded the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute at Northland College in Ashland, Wisc.

From the description of Oral history interview with Robert E. Matteson, 1991 May. (Minnesota Historical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 31736873

Biographical/Historical Note

Technical sergeant, United States Army; member, Counter Intelligence Corps, during World War II; subsequently aide to Governor Harold Stassen of Minnesota.

From the guide to the Robert Eliot Matteson pamphlets, 1993, (Hoover Institution Archives)

Robert Eliot Matteson was born in St. Paul (Minn.) in 1914, the son of a St. Paul banker, and graduated from Carleton College (Northfield, Minn.) in 1937. He received his M.A. in public administration from Harvard University in 1940, married Jane Paetzold (also from St. Paul) that same year, and taught political science at Carleton College, 1940-1942. Matteson was a state department desk officer briefly in 1943, but went on to serve in the 80th infantry division of Patton's third army (1943-1946), during which time he earned the silver star for capturing Nazi Gestapo and intelligence chief Ernst Kaltenbrunner in the Austrian Alps.

After World War II, Matteson was research director for Harold Stassen's 1948 presidential campaign (1946-1948), and when Stassen was president of the University of Pennsylvania (1948-1952), Matteson was assistant to the president and assistant professor of international relations. Matteson's government career began in 1953 when he joined Harold Stassen in the Foreign Operations Administration. Still associated with Stassen, Matteson was then director of the White House Disarmament Staff (1955-1958). He stayed with the Eisenhower administration after Stassen left in 1958, first as assistant to Sherman Adams, White House chief of staff, then with the CIA's Board of National Intelligence Estimates (1959-1962). He then served in the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (1962-1967), in Vietnam as director of the military-civilian pacification program (1967-1968, sparsely documented), in the Agency for International Development as director of the Office of International Training (1968-1971), and with the Foreign Affairs Executive Seminar (1971). During 1964 and 1965 he attended the National War College. Matteson's personal friends and professional associates included many top level government officials.

As the first director of the Sigurd Olson Institute of Environmental Studies at Northland College (Ashland, Wis.), Matteson's work consisted primarily of program development and fund-raising. Later, he was a trustee of Northland College. He maintained contacts with government officials, business leaders, educators, and environmentalists (especially Sigurd Olson). As a resident of the town of Namekagon (near Cable, Wis.) Matteson was also involved with local and regional environmental issues, including zoning and the impact of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore on northern Wisconsin. During 1976 and 1977 Matteson was chairman of the President's Quetico-Superior Committee.

In both personal and professional life, Matteson traveled extensively, often keeping journals or logs of the trips. Also, until the late 1980s when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, Matteson was an avid canoeist, having traveled in Canada, Wisconsin, and Minnesota by various routes.

From the guide to the Robert E. Matteson papers., [193-]-1989, 1991., (Minnesota Historical Society)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Matteson, Robert Eliot, 1914-1994. Robert Eliot Matteson pamphlets, 1993. Stanford University, Hoover Institution Library
referencedIn Harold Stassen papers., 1910s-1999 (bulk 1938-1980). Minnesota Historical Society
referencedIn Stassen, Harold Edward, 1907-2001. Harold Stassen papers, 1910s-1999 (bulk 1938-1980). Minnesota Historical Society Library
creatorOf Matteson, Robert Eliot, 1914-1994. Robert E. Matteson papers, [193-]-1989, 1991. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
creatorOf Minnesota Liberators of Concentration Camps Oral History Project. Oral history interviews of the Minnesota Liberators of Concentration Camps Oral History Project, 1982-1987. Minnesota Historical Society Library
referencedIn Gore Vidal papers, 1850-2020 (inclusive), 1936-2008 (bulk) Houghton Library
referencedIn Sigurd F. Olson papers., 1920s-1989. Minnesota Historical Society
creatorOf Robert E. Matteson papers., [193-]-1989, 1991. Minnesota Historical Society
creatorOf Matteson, Robert Eliot, 1914-1994,. Oral history interview with Robert E. Matteson, 1991 May. Minnesota Historical Society Library
creatorOf Robert Eliot Matteson pamphlets, 1993 Hoover Institution Archives
creatorOf Olson, Sigurd F., 1899-1982. Sigurd F. Olson papers, 1920s-1989. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, Sherman, 1899-1986. person
associatedWith Andersen, Elmer L., 1909-. person
associatedWith Association of Governing Boards of State Universities and Allied Institutions. corporateBody
associatedWith Burger, Warren E., 1907- person
associatedWith Burger, Warren E., 1907-. person
associatedWith Cowling, Donald J. (Donald John), 1880-1965. person
associatedWith Dickerman family. family
associatedWith Dickerman family. family
associatedWith Environmental Balance Association of Minnesota. corporateBody
associatedWith Foreign Affairs Executive Seminar. corporateBody
associatedWith Hickcox family. family
associatedWith Hickcox family. family
associatedWith International Crane Foundation. corporateBody
associatedWith Kaltenbrunner, Ernst. person
associatedWith Kirby, Alec. person
associatedWith Matteson family. family
associatedWith Matteson family. family
associatedWith Matteson, Sumner W., 1867-1920. person
associatedWith Minnesota Liberators of Concentration Camps Oral History Project. corporateBody
associatedWith Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei. corporateBody
associatedWith National War College (U.S.). corporateBody
associatedWith Northland College (Ashland, Wis.). corporateBody
associatedWith Olson, Elizabeth. person
associatedWith Olson, Elizabeth. person
associatedWith Olson, Sigurd F., 1899-1982. person
associatedWith Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- ). corporateBody
associatedWith Richardson, Elliot L., 1920-. person
associatedWith Schweitzer, Albert, 1875-1965. person
associatedWith Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute. corporateBody
associatedWith Stalin, Joseph, 1879-1953. person
associatedWith Stassen, Harold Edward, 1907-2001. person
associatedWith Strategic Arms Limitation Talks II. corporateBody
associatedWith Ten Nation Committee on Disarmament. Conference (1960 : Geneva, Switzerland). corporateBody
associatedWith United Nations. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Agency for International Development. Office of International Training. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Army. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Board of National Intelligence Estimates. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Board of National Intelligence Estimates. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Department of State. Office of Public Services. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Dept. of State. Office of Public Services. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Foreign Operations Administration. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. President's Quetico-Superior Committee. corporateBody
associatedWith Velikai︠a︡ Sibirskai︠a︡ magistralʹ. corporateBody
associatedWith Velikaia Sibirskaia magistral'. corporateBody
associatedWith Vidal, Gore, 1925- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Africa
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (Wis.)
United States
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (Wis.).
Soviet Union
Germany
Soviet Union.
United States
United States
Africa
Subject
Indians of North America--Scholarships, fellowships, etc
Canoes and canoeing
Human ecology--Study and teaching
World War, 1939-1945
International relations
Disarmament
War crime trials
Arms control
Ecology--Study and teaching
War crime trials Germany
Occupation
College trustees
Environmentalists
Government executives
Function

Person

Birth 1914

Death 1994

Information

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