Norman Davis (diplomat)
He was born in Bedford, Tennessee to successful businessman and distiller McClin H. Davis, who is credited with perfecting the recipe for Cascade Whisky, which is now known as George Dickel. Norman Davis briefly ran the Cascade Distillery following his father's death in 1898, but was forced to sell his share of the distillery to the operation's majority owners. Norman made millions of dollars from his financial dealings in Cuba from 1902 to 1917, where he was the President of the Trust Company of Cuba. While working in the financial industry, he built close friendships with Henry P. Davison, an influential partner with J.P. Morgan & Co. and Chairman of the American Red Cross, and Richard M. Bissell, president of Hartford Fire Insurance and a member of the National Defense Commission. Through these connections, he was able to get appointed as a financial adviser to the Secretary of Treasury on foreign loans during World War I.
Davis headed a commission of the League of Nations that negotiated the Klaipėda Convention in 1924. He was a delegate to a General Disarmament Conference in Geneva in 1931. He was chairman of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies from 1938 to 1944 and president of the Council on Foreign Relations 1936–1944.
In 1939, following the outbreak of war in Europe, Davis chaired the steering committee of the Council on Foreign Relations' War and Peace Studies project, created to advise the U.S. Government on wartime policy. He would also join the State Department's committee on overseas war measures, the fifteen-member Advisory Committee on Problems of Foreign Relations.
- Kay Baker Gaston, "George Dickel Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey: The Story Behind the Label," Tennessee Historical Quarterly, Vol. 57, No. 2 (Fall 1998), pp. 51-64.
- Hale, Will Thomas & Merritt, Dixon Lanier (1913). A History of Tennessee and Tennesseans: The Leaders and Representative Men in Commerce, Industry and Modern Activities, Volume 6. Lewis Publishing Company. p. 1603.
- Domhoff, G. William (1990). The Power Elite and the State: How Policy Is Made in America. Transaction Publishers. pp. 115–116. ISBN 9780202369877.
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