Douglas MacArthur II

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Douglas MacArthur II
Douglas MacArthur II.jpg
United States Ambassador to Iran
In office
October 13, 1969 – February 17, 1972
PresidentRichard Nixon
Preceded byArmin H. Meyer
Succeeded byJoseph S. Farland
United States Ambassador to Austria
In office
May 24, 1967 – September 16, 1969
PresidentLyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon
Preceded byJames Williams Riddleberger
Succeeded byJohn P. Humes
Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs
In office
March 14, 1965 – March 6, 1967
PresidentLyndon B. Johnson
Preceded byFred Dutton
Succeeded byWilliam B. Macomber Jr.
United States Ambassador to Belgium
In office
May 9, 1961 – February 11, 1965
PresidentJohn F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Preceded byWilliam A. M. Burden
Succeeded byRidgway B. Knight
United States Ambassador to Japan
In office
February 25, 1957 – March 12, 1961
PresidentDwight D. Eisenhower
Preceded byJohn M. Allison
Succeeded byEdwin Reischauer
Personal details
Born(1909-07-05)July 5, 1909
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
DiedNovember 15, 1997(1997-11-15) (aged 88)
Washington, D.C.
Laura Louise Barkley
(m. 1934; died 1987)
ParentsArthur MacArthur III
Mary McCalla
EducationYale University

Douglas MacArthur II (July 5, 1909 – November 15, 1997) was an American diplomat. During his diplomatic career, he served as United States ambassador to Japan, Belgium, Austria, and Iran, as well as Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs.


MacArthur was the son of Captain Arthur MacArthur III and Mary McCalla MacArthur; the daughter of Bowman H. McCalla, granddaughter of Col Horace Binney Sargent, and the great-granddaughter of Lucius Manlius Sargent. Named for his uncle, General Douglas MacArthur, he was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, in 1909.[1]

He graduated from Milton Academy in Milton, Mass., and from Yale College, Class of 1932. He married Laura Louise Barkley on August 21, 1934, the daughter of future U.S. Vice President Alben Barkley.[1]

Diplomatic career[edit]

After serving as an Army officer, MacArthur began his Foreign Service career in 1935 with a post in Vancouver. He was assigned to Vichy France during the early years of World War II, served as secretary of the U.S. Embassy there from 1940 to 1942, and was held as a prisoner of war for two years after the US broke relations with the Vichy government. Following a prisoner exchange in March 1944, he served as part of General Dwight Eisenhower's political staff, and then led the political section of the U.S. Embassy in Paris until 1948.[2] He went on to become chief of the State Department's Division of Western European Affairs in 1949, where he assisted in the formation of NATO, and served as Counselor of the State Department from 1953 to 1956, where he led the U.S. negotiations for the SEATO treaty.[1][3]

Ambassador to Japan[edit]

MacArthur was appointed as U.S. Ambassador to Japan in December 1956, and presented his credentials in February 1957.[3]

During his four years in Tokyo, MacArthur oversaw the negotiation of the mutual security treaty between the United States and Japan, which was officially amended in January 1960 amid widespread public controversy and demonstrations in Japan. It was revealed in 1974 that MacArthur negotiated a secret agreement with Japanese foreign minister Aiichiro Fujiyama to allow the movement of American nuclear weapons through Japanese territory.[1] It was also revealed, through documents declassified in the 2000s, that MacArthur pressured the Japanese judiciary, including Chief Justice Kotaro Tanaka, to uphold the legality of the United States military presence in Japan following a lower court decision that found it to be unconstitutional.[4]

MacArthur appeared on the cover of the June 27, 1960 issue of Time magazine, in which he was characterized as "the principal architect of present-day U.S. policy toward Japan."[5]

Other posts[edit]

Following his time in Japan, MacArthur served as Ambassador to Belgium (1961–1965), Assistant Secretary of State (1965–1967), Ambassador to Austria (1967–1969) and Ambassador to Iran (1969–1972). While in the latter post, he escaped an attempted kidnapping by Iranian extremists in 1970.[1][2]

Later life and death[edit]

MacArthur died in Washington, D.C. in 1997.[1]

Related themes[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Pace, Eric (1997-11-17). "Douglas MacArthur 2d, 88, Former Ambassador to Japan". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  2. ^ a b Pearson, Richard (1997-11-16). "MACARTHUR II DIES AT 88". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  3. ^ a b "Douglas MacArthur II - People - Department History - Office of the Historian". Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  4. ^ "U.S. coerced court in '59 base case". The Japan Times Online. 2008-05-01. ISSN 0447-5763. Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  5. ^ "The TIME Vault: 1960".

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
John M. Allison
U.S. Ambassador to Japan
1957 – 1961
Succeeded by
Edwin Reischauer
Preceded by
William A. M. Burden
U.S. Ambassador to Belgium
1961 – 1965
Succeeded by
Ridgway B. Knight
Preceded by
James W. Riddleberger
U.S. Ambassador to Austria
1967 – 1969
Succeeded by
John P. Humes
Preceded by
Armin H. Meyer
U.S. Ambassador to Iran
1969 – 1972
Succeeded by
Joseph S. Farland
Government offices
Preceded by
Fred Dutton
Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs
March 14, 1965 – March 6, 1967
Succeeded by
William B. Macomber, Jr.