Robert Daniel Murphy

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For other people named Robert Murphy, see Robert Murphy (disambiguation).

Robert Daniel Murphy (October 28, 1894 – January 9, 1978) was an American diplomat.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Murphy had begun his diplomatic career in 1917 as a member of the American Legation in Bern, Switzerland. Among the several posts he held were Vice-Consul in Zurich and Munich, American Consul in Paris from 1930 to 1936, and chargé d’affaires to the Vichy government. He was also the one-time State Department specialist on France.

In February 1941, Murphy played an instrumental role in forging the Murphy-Weygand Agreement, which allowed the United States to export to French North Africa in spite of the British blockade and trade restrictions in place upon the Vichy-governed area.[1]

In autumn of 1942, at President Roosevelt's request, Murphy investigated conditions in French North Africa in preparation for the Allied landings - Operation Torch, the first major Allied ground offensive during World War II. He was appointed the President’s personal representative with the rank of Minister to French North Africa. Murphy made contact with various French army officers in Algiers and recruited them to support the Allies when the invasion of French North Africa came.[citation needed]

Prior to the November 8 invasion, Murphy, along with US General Mark Wayne Clark, had worked to gain the important blessing of the anti-British French General Henri Giraud for the attack. This blessing could be deployed if necessary against Governor François Darlan in order to gain his cooperation for the invasion. Darlan's cooperation was formalised on November 22; the Governor of French North Africa was assassinated little more than a month later.[2]

Murphy's Post-WWII Diplomatic Record

  • 1949 Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Belgium
  • 1952 Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Japan
  • 1953 Assistant Secretary for United Nations Affairs
  • 1953 Deputy Under Secretary for Political Affairs (Assistant Secretary)
  • 1955 Deputy Under Secretary for Political Affairs
  • 1956 Career Ambassador
  • 1958 Personal representative of President Eisenhower during the Lebanon Crisis of 1958
  • 1959 Under Secretary for Political Affairs

After his resignation from the U.S. State Department in December 1959, Murphy went on to be an adviser to Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. He was a member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group.[3]

In 2006, Murphy was featured on a United States postage stamp, one of a block of six featuring prominent diplomats [1].



  1. ^ Gabriel Kolko (1968; 1990 edition with new afterword), The Politics of War: The World and United States Foreign Policy, 1943-1945, ASIN B0007EOISO. Chapter 4.
  2. ^ Kolko, G. (1968; 1990 edition with new afterword), The Politics of War: The World and United States Foreign Policy, 1943-1945, ASIN B0007EOISO. Chapter 4.
  3. ^ "Former Steering Committee Members". Bilderberg Group. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 


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Government offices
Preceded by
John D. Hickerson
Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
March 20, 1953 – November 30, 1953
Succeeded by
David McK. Key
Preceded by
Omar Bradley
Sylvanus Thayer Award recipient
Succeeded by
W. Averell Harriman