HOME
The Info List - William P. Rogers





William Pierce Rogers (June 23, 1913 – January 2, 2001) was an American politician, diplomat, and lawyer. He served as United States Attorney General under President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
and United States Secretary of State under President Richard Nixon, of whom he was a close confidant, but in this role he was overshadowed by National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, who eventually succeeded him.[1]

Contents

1 Early life and education 2 Early legal career and military service 3 U.S. Deputy Attorney General 4 U.S. Attorney General (1957–1961) 5 Return to legal career 6 U.S. Secretary of State (1969–1973) 7 Later life, death and legacy 8 Sources 9 Notes 10 External links

Early life and education[edit] Rogers was born June 23, 1913, in Norfolk, New York.[1] After the death of his mother, the former Myra Beswick, he was reared during his teen years by his grandparents in the village of Canton, New York. He attended Colgate University, where he was initiated into the Sigma Chi fraternity. He then attended Cornell Law School, where he was an editor of the Cornell Law Quarterly.[2] He received his law degree, graduating as a member of the Order of the Coif, and passed the New York Bar in 1937. He married Adele Langston Rogers (August 15, 1911 – May 27, 2001). The couple had four children: Dale R. Marshall, Douglas L. Rogers, Anthony W. Rogers and Jeffrey L. Rogers.[1] Early legal career and military service[edit] After serving about a year as an attorney for a Wall Street
Wall Street
law office, he became an assistant district attorney in 1938 and was appointed by then District Attorney
District Attorney
Thomas E. Dewey
Thomas E. Dewey
to a sixty-man task force aimed at routing out New York City's organized crime. He entered the United States
United States
Navy in 1942, serving on the USS Intrepid, including her action in the Battle of Okinawa. His final rank in the Navy was lieutenant commander. In 1950, Rogers became a partner in a New York City
New York City
law firm, Dwight, Royall, Harris, Koegel & Caskey. Thereafter, he returned to this firm when he was not in government service. While serving as a Committee Counsel to a US Senate committee, he examined the documentation from the House Un-American Activities Committee's investigation of Alger Hiss
Alger Hiss
at the request of Congressman Richard M. Nixon, and advised Nixon that Hiss had lied and that the case against him should be pursued. Rogers also advised Nixon in the slush fund scandal that led to Nixon's Checkers speech
Checkers speech
in 1952. U.S. Deputy Attorney General[edit] Rogers joined the Administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
as Deputy Attorney General in 1953. As Deputy Attorney General, Rogers had some role in or insight into the process that led to the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for espionage.[3] As deputy attorney general, Rogers was involved in the Little Rock Integration Crisis in the fall of 1957 of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. In that capacity, he worked with Osro Cobb, the United States
United States
Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, to implement federal orders and to maintain peace in the capital city. In his memoirs, Cobb recalls that Rogers called him to discuss the possibility of violence. Cobb writes, "Our conversation was somewhat guarded. I had never recommended the use of federal troops, and Rogers asked if I thought they were necessary. I told him I hoped not. Then to my surprise he stated, 'They are on their way already.'"[4] U.S. Attorney General (1957–1961)[edit] Rogers served as Attorney General from 1957 to 1961. He remained a close advisor to Vice President Nixon throughout the Eisenhower administration, especially during Eisenhower's two medical crises. Rogers became attorney general upon the resignation of his superior, Herbert Brownell, who had worked to implement the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School. In 1958, Little Rock closed its public schools for a year to oppose further desegregation required by the U.S. government. At the time Rogers said that "It seems inconceivable that a state or community would rather close its public schools than comply with decisions of the Supreme Court.[5] In 1959, Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr.
hailed Rogers for advocating the integration of an elementary school in Alabama
Alabama
that had excluded the children of black military personnel.[6] Return to legal career[edit] Now renamed to Rogers & Wells, Rogers returned to his law practice, where he worked until his early 80s. He played an important role in the 1964 New York Times Co. v. Sullivan
New York Times Co. v. Sullivan
Supreme Court case. From 1962 to 1963, Rogers was head of the Federal City Council, a group of business, civic, education, and other leaders interested in economic development in Washington, D.C.[7]

William P. Rogers
William P. Rogers
(right, in background) with staff members as President Nixon speaks to Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle
in March 1969.

U.S. Secretary of State (1969–1973)[edit]

The official portrait of Secretary of State Rogers, 1970.

Preceded by Dean Rusk, Rogers served as United States
United States
Secretary of State in the Nixon administration
Nixon administration
from January 22, 1969, to September 3, 1973. One of his notable works was to initiate efforts at a lasting peace in the Arab–Israeli conflict
Arab–Israeli conflict
through the so-called Rogers Plan. Throughout his tenure, however, his influence was curtailed by Nixon's determination to handle critical foreign policy strategy and execution directly from the White House through his national security adviser Henry Kissinger. Kissinger later said of Rogers, "Few secretaries of state can have been selected because of their president’s confidence in their ignorance of foreign policy."[8] On October 15, 1973, Rogers received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Nixon. At the same ceremony, his wife, Adele Rogers, was presented with the Presidential Citizens Medal. Later life, death and legacy[edit] Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
asked Rogers to play the US President in IVY LEAGUE 82 (March 1982), a command post exercise of American nuclear forces under SIOP.[9] Rogers led the investigation into the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger. This panel, called the Rogers Commission, was the first to criticize NASA
NASA
management for its role in negligence of safety in the Space Shuttle
Space Shuttle
program. Among the more famous members of Rogers' panel were astronauts Neil Armstrong
Neil Armstrong
and Sally Ride, Air Force general Donald Kutyna, and physicist Richard Feynman.[10] Rogers worked at his law firm, now renamed Clifford Chance
Clifford Chance
Rogers & Wells after a 1999 merger, in its Washington office until several months before his death.[citation needed] He died of congestive heart failure, at the Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, on January 2, 2001, at the age of 87. Rogers was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. At the time of his death, he was the last surviving member of the Eisenhower Administration.[1] In 2001, the Rogers family donated to Cornell Law Library materials that reflect the lives of William and Adele Rogers, the majority of these items from the years 1969–1973.[11] Sources[edit]

Law portal New York portal United States
United States
Navy portal World War II
World War II
portal

The Presidency Project

Notes[edit]

^ a b c d Stout, David (January 4, 2001). "William P. Rogers, Who Served as Nixon's Secretary of State, Is Dead at 87". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-25. William P. Rogers, a suave and well-connected Republican lawyer who was secretary of state under President Richard M. Nixon and attorney general in the Eisenhower administration, died on Tuesday in Bethesda, Md. He was 87. Mr. Rogers lived in Bethesda and worked in the Washington office of the law firm of Clifford Chance Rogers & Wells, where he was senior partner, until becoming ill several months ago. He suffered from congestive heart failure, his family said.  ^ Smith, J.Y. (January 4, 2001). "Lawyer-Statesman William P. Rogers Dies". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 16, 2017.  ^ Roberts, Sam (June 26, 2008). "Spies and Secrecy". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-27. Shortly before he died, I interviewed William Rogers. He was the deputy attorney general when the Rosenbergs were executed. I guess, I said to him, the government got what it wanted: the Rosenbergs were indicted, convicted and executed. No, he replied, the goal wasn’t to kill the couple. The strategy was to leverage the death sentence imposed on Ethel to wring a full confession from Julius — in hopes that Ethel’s motherly instincts would trump unconditional loyalty to a noble but discredited cause.  ^ Osro Cobb, Osro Cobb of Arkansas: Memoirs of Historical Significance, Carol Griffee, ed. (Little Rock, Arkansas: Rose Publishing Company), (1989), p. 234. ^ Osro Cobb, pp. 267–268. ^ Martin Luther King Jr (November 19, 1959). "To William P. Rogers" (PDF). Stanford University.  ^ " Federal City Council
Federal City Council
Elects William Rogers". The Washington Post. October 1, 1963. p. B1 ; " Federal City Council
Federal City Council
Elected". The Washington Post. September 30, 1970. p. D9.  ^ Brauer, Carl (November 1988). "Lost in Transition". The Atlantic Online. Retrieved March 14, 2018.  ^ Burr, William, ed. (2016-12-22). "National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 575: Reagan's Nuclear War Briefing Declassified". The National Security Archive, George Washington University.  ^ Richard P. Feynman, What Do You Care What Other People Think?, ed. Ralph Leighton, pub. W. W. Norton
W. W. Norton
(1988) p. 124. ^ http://library.lawschool.cornell.edu/WhatWeHave/SpecialCollections/Rogers.cfm materials

Wikimedia Commons has media related to William P. Rogers.

External links[edit]

Papers of William P. Rogers, Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Presidential Library Finding aid for the William P. Rogers
William P. Rogers
Oral History, Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library

Legal offices

Preceded by Ross Malone United States
United States
Deputy Attorney General 1953–1957 Succeeded by Lawrence Walsh

Preceded by Herbert Brownell United States
United States
Attorney General 1957–1961 Succeeded by Robert Kennedy

Political offices

Preceded by Dean Rusk United States
United States
Secretary of State 1969–1973 Succeeded by Henry Kissinger

v t e

United States
United States
Attorneys General

18th century

Randolph Bradford Lee

19th century

Lincoln Breckinridge Rodney Pinkney Rush Wirt Berrien Taney Butler Grundy Gilpin Crittenden Legaré Nelson Mason Clifford Toucey Johnson Crittenden Cushing Black Stanton Bates Speed Stanbery Evarts Hoar Akerman Williams Pierrepont Taft Devens MacVeagh Brewster Garland Miller Olney Harmon McKenna Griggs

20th century

Knox Moody Bonaparte Wickersham McReynolds Gregory Palmer Daugherty Stone Sargent W. D. Mitchell Cummings Murphy Jackson Biddle T. C. Clark McGrath McGranery Brownell Rogers Kennedy Katzenbach R. Clark J. N. Mitchell Kleindienst Richardson Saxbe Levi Bell Civiletti Smith Meese Thornburgh Barr Reno

21st century

Ashcroft Gonzales Mukasey Holder Lynch Sessions

v t e

United States
United States
Secretaries of State

Secretary of Foreign Affairs 1781–89

R. Livingston Jay

Secretary of State 1789–present

Jefferson Randolph Pickering J. Marshall Madison Smith Monroe Adams Clay Van Buren E. Livingston McLane Forsyth Webster Upshur Calhoun Buchanan Clayton Webster Everett Marcy Cass Black Seward Washburne Fish Evarts Blaine Frelinghuysen Bayard Blaine Foster Gresham Olney Sherman Day Hay Root Bacon Knox Bryan Lansing Colby Hughes Kellogg Stimson Hull Stettinius Byrnes G. Marshall Acheson Dulles Herter Rusk Rogers Kissinger Vance Muskie Haig Shultz Baker Eagleburger Christopher Albright Powell Rice (tenure) Clinton (tenure) Kerry (tenure) Tillerson

v t e

Cabinet of President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
(1953–61)

Vice President

Richard M. Nixon
Richard M. Nixon
(1953–61)

Secretary of State

John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles
(1953–59) Christian A. Herter (1959–61)

Secretary of the Treasury

George Magoffin Humphrey (1953–57) Robert B. Anderson
Robert B. Anderson
(1957–61)

Secretary of Defense

Charles E. Wilson (1953–57) Neil H. McElroy
Neil H. McElroy
(1957–59) Thomas S. Gates Jr.
Thomas S. Gates Jr.
(1959–61)

Attorney General

Herbert Brownell Jr.
Herbert Brownell Jr.
(1953–57) William P. Rogers
William P. Rogers
(1957–61)

Postmaster General

Arthur E. Summerfield (1953–61)

Secretary of the Interior

Douglas McKay
Douglas McKay
(1953–56) Fred A. Seaton (1956–61)

Secretary of Agriculture

Ezra Taft Benson
Ezra Taft Benson
(1953–61)

Secretary of Commerce

Sinclair Weeks
Sinclair Weeks
(1953–58) Lewis L. Strauss (1958–59) Frederick H. Mueller
Frederick H. Mueller
(1959–61)

Secretary of Labor

Martin P. Durkin (1953) James P. Mitchell
James P. Mitchell
(1953–61)

Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare

Oveta Culp Hobby
Oveta Culp Hobby
(1953–55) Marion B. Folsom
Marion B. Folsom
(1955–58) Arthur S. Flemming (1958–61)

v t e

Cabinet of President Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
(1969–74)

Vice President

Spiro T. Agnew (1969–73) None (1973) Gerald R. Ford (1973–74)

Secretary of State

William P. Rogers
William P. Rogers
(1969–73) Henry A. Kissinger (1973–74)

Secretary of the Treasury

David M. Kennedy
David M. Kennedy
(1969–71) John B. Connally (1971–72) George P. Shultz
George P. Shultz
(1972–74) William E. Simon
William E. Simon
(1974)

Secretary of Defense

Melvin R. Laird (1969–73) Elliot L. Richardson (1973) James R. Schlesinger
James R. Schlesinger
(1973–74)

Attorney General

John N. Mitchell
John N. Mitchell
(1969–72) Richard G. Kleindienst (1972–73) Elliot L. Richardson (1973) William B. Saxbe
William B. Saxbe
(1974)

Postmaster General

Winton M. Blount
Winton M. Blount
(1969–71)

Secretary of the Interior

Walter J. Hickel (1969–70) Rogers C. B. Morton (1970–74)

Secretary of Agriculture

Clifford M. Hardin
Clifford M. Hardin
(1969–71) Earl L. Butz (1971–74)

Secretary of Commerce

Maurice H. Stans (1969–72) Peter G. Peterson (1972–73) Frederick B. Dent
Frederick B. Dent
(1973–74)

Secretary of Labor

George P. Shultz
George P. Shultz
(1969–70) James D. Hodgson (1970–73) Peter J. Brennan
Peter J. Brennan
(1973–74)

Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare

Robert H. Finch (1969–70) Elliot L. Richardson (1970–73) Caspar W. Weinberger (1973–74)

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

George W. Romney
George W. Romney
(1969–73) James T. Lynn (1973–74)

Secretary of Transportation

John Volpe
John Volpe
(1969–73) Claude S. Brinegar (1973–74)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 52715990 LCCN: n50048035 ISNI: 0000 0000 8382 8399 GND: 127592644 SUDOC: 079902987 BNE: XX1401501 SN

.