David K. E. Bruce
David K. E. Bruce
|United States Ambassador to France|
|President||Harry S. Truman|
|Preceded by||Jefferson Caffery|
|Succeeded by||James Clement Dunn|
|United States Ambassador to Germany|
|President||Dwight D. Eisenhower|
|Preceded by||James B. Conant|
|Succeeded by||Walter C. Dowling|
|United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom|
March 17, 1961 – March 20, 1969
|President||John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
|Prime Minister||Harold Macmillan
Sir Alec Douglas-Home
|Preceded by||John Hay Whitney|
|Succeeded by||Walter Annenberg|
February 12, 1898|
|Died||December 5, 1977
David Kirkpatrick Este Bruce (February 12, 1898 – December 5, 1977) was an American diplomat, intelligence officer and politician. He served as Ambassador to France, the Republic of Germany, and the United Kingdom, the only American to be all three.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, his father was William Cabell Bruce. Bruce served in the United States Army during World War I. He went to the University of Maryland Law School and was admitted to the Maryland bar. He served in the Maryland House of Delegates 1924-1926 and the Virginia House of Delegates 1939-1942. Bruce graduated from the University of Virginia in 1920.
On May 29, 1926, Bruce married Ailsa Mellon, the daughter of the banker and diplomat Andrew W. Mellon. They divorced on April 20, 1945. Their only daughter, Audrey, and her husband, Stephen Currier, were presumed dead when a plane in which they were flying in the Caribbean disappeared on January 17, 1967, after requesting permission to fly over Culebra, a U. S. Navy installation. No trace of the plane, pilot, or passengers was ever found. Audrey and Stephen Currier left three children: Andrea, Lavinia, and Michael.
Bruce married Evangeline Bell (1914–1995) on April 23, 1945, three days after his divorce. They had two sons and one daughter, Alexandra (called Sasha). Alexandra died under mysterious circumstances (possibly murder or suicide) in 1975 at age 29 at the Bruce family home in Virginia.
During World War II, he headed the Europe branch of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), a precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which was based in London and coordinated espionage activities behind enemy lines for the United States Armed Forces branches. Other OSS functions included the use of propaganda, subversion, and post-war planning. He observed the invasion of Normandy landing there the day after the initial invasion.
He served as the United States Ambassador to France from 1949 to 1952, United States Ambassador to West Germany from 1957 to 1959, and United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 1961 to 1969. He was an American envoy at the Paris peace talks between the United States and North Vietnam in 1970 and 1971. Bruce also served as the first United States emissary to the People's Republic of China from 1973 to 1974. He was the ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization from late 1974 to 1976. Bruce was a candidate for director of its successor the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 1950.
He is said to have written a secret report on the CIA for President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 that was highly critical of its operation under Allen Dulles's leadership. This claim likely has some basis, since in January 1956, according to Ira David Wood 3rd, David K.E. Bruce was among the very first appointees, by Eisenhower, to the new President's Board of Consultants on Foreign Intelligence Activities which, years later, became known as the President's Intelligence Advisory Board.
Bruce served as the Honorary Chair on the Board of Trustees of the American School in London during his diplomatic career in the United Kingdom. The David K.E. Bruce Award was established in 2007 at the school.
Bruce wrote a book of biographical essays on the American presidents originally published as Seven Pillars of the Republic (1936). He later expanded it as Revolution to Reconstruction (1939) and again revised it as Sixteen American Presidents (1962).
- Harry S. Truman Library-Oral History of David K.E. Bruce
- Bio data
- Virginius Dabney (1981). Mr. Jefferson's University: A History. University of Virginia Press. pp. 426–427. ISBN 0-8139-0904-X.
- Pitz, Marylynne (November 15, 2009). "Ailsa Mellon Bruce's artworks part of Carnegie collection". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2009-12-08.
In 1926, the beautiful, reserved and stubborn young woman married David K. E. Bruce, a talented lawyer and the son of Maryland Sen. William C. Bruce. For wedding presents, A.W. Mellon gave his daughter a pearl necklace valued at $100,000 and a 200-acre estate in Syosset, Long Island.
- Nation: A Gothic Romance in Old Virginia
- Public Service and Private Pain
- David Kirkpatrick Este Bruce; Nelson D. Lankford (January 1991). OSS Against the Reich: The World War II Diaries of Colonel David K.E. Bruce. Kent State University Press. p. 35. ISBN 978-0-87338-427-8.
- "David Bruce, 75, Selected To Head Office in Peking". New York Times. March 16, 1973. Retrieved 2009-12-08.
President Nixon announced today that he had recalled Ambassador David K. E. Bruce from retirement to head a United States liaison office in Peking.
- Tim Weiner, The Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA (London: Allen Lane, 2007), p. 133.
- School Web site Retrieved 2010-02-20.
- "U.S. envoy David Bruce is dead at 79". Chicago Tribune. December 6, 1977. Retrieved 2009-12-08.
David K. E. Bruce, a veteran American diplomat who served in a variety of posts including mainland China, died of a heart attack Monday at Georgetown University Medical Center. He was 79.
- Lankford, Nelson D. The Last American Aristocrat: The Biography of David K. E. Bruce, 1898–1977 (1996).
- Lankford, Nelson D., ed. OSS against the Reich: The World War II Diaries of Colonel David K. E. Bruce (1991).
- First Chapter of 'The Last American Aristocrat' published by the Washington Post with permission of the author
- Review of the book, "The Last American Aristocrat" from The Washington Monthly magazine
- Oral history interview with David K. E. Bruce, 1 March 1972, at the Truman Presidential Museum and Library
|U.S. Ambassador to France
James Clement Dunn
James E. Webb
|Under Secretary of State
Walter B. Smith
James B. Conant
|U.S. Ambassador to Germany
Walter C. Dowling
John Hay Whitney
|U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom
Walter H. Annenberg
|Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in Beijing
George H. W. Bush
|U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO