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Frank B. Kellogg

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Frank B. Kellogg
Kellogg in 1912
Associate Judge of the Permanent Court of International Justice
In office
September 25, 1930[1] – September 9, 1935[2]
Preceded byCharles E. Hughes[3]
Succeeded byManley O. Hudson[4]
45th United States Secretary of State
In office
March 5, 1925 – March 28, 1929
PresidentCalvin Coolidge
Herbert Hoover
Preceded byCharles Evans Hughes
Succeeded byHenry L. Stimson
39th United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom
In office
January 14, 1924 – February 10, 1925
PresidentCalvin Coolidge
Preceded byGeorge Harvey
Succeeded byAlanson B. Houghton
United States Senator
from Minnesota
In office
March 4, 1917 – March 3, 1923
Preceded byMoses E. Clapp
Succeeded byHenrik Shipstead
County Attorney of Olmsted County
In office
January 1, 1882[5] – January 1, 1887[6]
Preceded byHalfton A. Eckholdt[7][8]
Succeeded byBurt W. Eaton[9]
City Attorney of Rochester
In office
Preceded byRoyal H. Gove[10][11]
Succeeded byW. Logan Breckenridge[8][11]
Personal details
Frank Billings Kellogg

(1856-12-22)December 22, 1856
Potsdam, New York
DiedDecember 21, 1937(1937-12-21) (aged 80)
St. Paul, Minnesota
Political partyRepublican
SpouseClara Cook
AwardsNobel Peace Prize 1929 Legion of Honour

Frank Billings Kellogg (December 22, 1856 – December 21, 1937) was an American lawyer, politician, and statesman who served in the U.S. Senate and as U.S. Secretary of State.[12] He co-authored the Kellogg–Briand Pact, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1929.[13]

Early life and career

Portrait of Kellogg by Philip de László.

Kellogg was born in Potsdam, New York, on December 22, 1856, the son of Abigail (Billings) and Asa Farnsworth Kellogg.[14] His family moved to Minnesota in 1865.[15]

Kellogg read law and began practicing law in Rochester, Minnesota, in 1877. He served as city attorney of Rochester 1878–1881 and county attorney for Olmsted County, Minnesota, from 1882 to 1887. He moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1886.[15]

In 1905, Kellogg joined the federal government when Theodore Roosevelt asked Kellogg to prosecute a federal antitrust case.[16] In 1906, Kellogg was appointed special counsel to the Interstate Commerce Commission for its investigation of E. H. Harriman. In 1908, he was appointed to lead the federal prosecution against Union Pacific Railroad, under the Sherman Antitrust Act.[17][18][19] His most important case was Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey v. United States, 221 U.S. 1 (1911). Following this successful prosecution, he was elected president of the American Bar Association (1912–1913). He was a member of the World War Foreign Debts Commission.[20]

In 1907, Kellogg was honored as a Compatriot of the Minnesota Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.[21]

United States Senate


In 1916, Kellogg was elected as a Republican to the United States Senate from Minnesota and served from March 4, 1917, to March 3, 1923, in the 65th, 66th, and 67th Congresses. During the ratification battle for the Treaty of Versailles, he was one of the few Republicans who supported ratification. He lost his re-election bid in 1922 and, in 1923, he was a delegate to the Fifth International Conference of American States at Santiago, Chile.[15]

Ambassador to Great Britain

Time cover, September 28, 1925

In 1924, he was appointed by President Calvin Coolidge as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Great Britain,[22] serving from January 14, 1924, to February 10, 1925. He succeeded George Brinton McClellan Harvey who served under Warren G. Harding and was succeeded by Alanson B. Houghton so that Kellogg could assume the role of Secretary of State.[15]

Secretary of State

1927 hand signed passport by Frank B. Kellogg as Secretary of State

From 1925 to 1929, he served as the United States Secretary of State in the Cabinet of President Coolidge.[23] In 1928, he was awarded the Freedom of the City in Dublin, Ireland and in 1929 the government of France made him a member of the Legion of Honour.[15]

As Secretary of State, he was responsible for improving U.S.–Mexican relations and helping to resolve the long-standing Tacna–Arica controversy between Peru and Chile. His most significant accomplishment, however, was the Kellogg–Briand Pact, signed in 1928. Proposed by its other namesake, French foreign minister Aristide Briand, the treaty intended to provide for "the renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy." Kellogg was awarded the 1929 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition.[15][24][25] (Briand had already won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1926).[26]

He was associate judge of the Permanent Court of International Justice from 1930 to 1935.[27][28][29][30]

He was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 1931.[31]

Kellogg was self-conscious about his lack of academic credentials; he attended a one-room country school and dropped out at age 14. He never attended high school, college or law school. His only advanced training came from clerking in a private lawyer's office. Kellogg grew up in a poor farm in Minnesota, and lacked a commanding presence or the sophistication to deal with the aristocrats who dominated European diplomacy. As Secretary of State, his main focus was Latin America, where he dealt with brutal but unsophisticated strongmen. His staff provided the ideas, and they appreciated that he was always open, candid, and easy to communicate with. He helped end the battle between the Mexican government and the Catholic Church, but failed to resolve the dispute over ownership of the oil reserves. In the Far East, he followed the advice of Nelson Trusler Johnson, the new chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs. They favored China and protected it from threats from Japan. They successfully negotiated tariff reform with China, thereby giving enhanced status to the Kuomintang and helping get rid of the unequal treaties.[32] As for Europe he was primarily interested with expanding the limitations on naval armaments that been established by the Washington Treaty; he made little progress. Kellogg gained international fame, and the Nobel Peace Prize, with the Kellogg–Briand Pact. It was endorsed by nearly every nation and made starting a war a punishable criminal action. It formed the legal basis for the trial and execution of German and Japanese war leaders after 1945.[33]

Personal life

Kellogg's former residence in Washington, D.C.

In 1886, Kellogg was married to Clara May Cook (1861–1942), the daughter of George Clinton Cook (1828–1901) and Elizabeth (née Burns) Cook (1838–1908).[34]

In 1880, he became a member of the Masonic Lodge Rochester No. 21, where he received the degrees of freemasonry on April 1, April 19, and May 3.[35]

He died from pneumonia, following a stroke, on the eve of his 81st birthday in St. Paul.[12] He was buried at the Chapel of St. Joseph of Arimathea in Washington National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.[15]



In 1937, he endowed the Kellogg Foundation for Education in International Relations at Carleton College, where he was a trustee.[36] His house in St. Paul, the Frank B. Kellogg House was listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1976.[37]

The following were named in his honor:



Frank B. Kellogg's papers are available for research use at the Minnesota Historical Society. They include correspondence and miscellaneous papers, State Department duplicates, news clippings scrapbooks, awards, floor plans, honorary degrees, maps, memorials and memoranda.[39]

See also



  1. ^ Treaty Information Bulletin No. 1-117 (October 31, 1929–June 30, 1939, Volumes 1-20)
  2. ^ Digest of International Law, Volume 12 (1971)
  3. ^ Permanent Court of International Justice, Volumes 1-4 (United States Congress - House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 1932)
  4. ^ Walker, David Maxwell (1980). The Oxford Companion to Law. Clarendon Press. ISBN 9780198661108.
  5. ^ Executive documents of the State of Minnesota for 1881
  6. ^ Executive Documents of the State of Minnesota (1887, Volume 1)
  7. ^ Executive documents of the State of Minnesota for 1879-1880, Volume 1
  8. ^ a b Historical Society, Olmsted County (1883). History of Olmsted County, Together with Biographical Matter, Statistics, Etc (Gathered from Matter Furnished by Interviews with Old Settlers, County, Township, and Other Records, and Extracts from Files of Papers, Pamphlets, and Such Other Sources as Have Been Available). Olmsted County Historical Society (Minnesota).
  9. ^ Report of the Minnesota Attorney General (1888-1890)
  10. ^ Leonard, Joseph Alexander (1910). History of Olmsted County, Minnesota - Together with Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers, Citizens, Families and Institutions. Goodspeed Historical Association.
  11. ^ a b Past City Attorneys of Rochester (1862-Present)
  12. ^ a b "Frank B. Kellogg Dies At Age Of 81 [sic]. Winner of Nobel Peace Prize for Pact Outlawing War, Ex-Secretary of State". The New York Times. December 22, 1937. Retrieved December 16, 2014. Frank B. Kellogg, former World Court judge and Secretary of State, died at 7:28 P. M., Guy Chase, his law partner, announced tonight.
  13. ^ "The Nobel Peace Prize 1929". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
  14. ^ Sobel, Robert (1990). Biographical Directory of the United States Executive Branch, 1774-1989. Greenwood Press. ISBN 9780313265938.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g "KELLOGG, Frank Billings - Biographical Information". bioguide.congress.gov. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  16. ^ Frank B. Kellogg on Nobelprize.org Edit this at Wikidata, accessed 29 April 2020
  17. ^ "Taft Declines Comment.; F.B. Kellogg, in Conference with Candidate, Also Silent Now". The New York Times. July 23, 1908. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  18. ^ "Article 2 -- No Title". The New York Times. November 21, 1909. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  19. ^ Neubeck, Deborah Kahn. "Collection Finding Aids, Frank B. Kellogg chronology". mnhs.org. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  20. ^ Official congressional directory, 70th congress - 1st session (December 1927)
  21. ^ American Revolution, Sons of the (1907). National Year Book. National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.
  22. ^ "2,000 Nominations Made by Coolidge; List Is Headed by Frank B. Kellogg for Ambassador to Britain". The New York Times. December 11, 1923. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  23. ^ "Sacasa Protests Kellogg's Course; Said to Have Threatened in Message to Rouse Latin America Against US. Will Keep Up the Fight: He Promptly Denies Story That He Is Giving Up in Face of Our Opposition". The New York Times. January 15, 1927. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  24. ^ "Kellogg to Go to Oslo.; But Nobel Peace Prize Winner Is Uncertain When He Can Pay Visit". The New York Times. November 29, 1930. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  25. ^ "Kellogg Gets Honorary Degree at Oxford; Outstanding Candidate for Nobel Peace Prize". The New York Times. November 27, 1929. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  26. ^ "The Nobel Peace Prize 1926". Nobel Foundation. Archived from the original on September 8, 2011. Retrieved August 14, 2022.
  27. ^ Photo, Manley O. Hudson, Bemis Professor of International Law, Harvard Law School times Wide World (October 12, 1930). "Who's Who of the Judges Elected to World Court; Frank B. Kellogg". The New York Times. Retrieved May 13, 2017.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  28. ^ Kellogg, Frank B. (December 24, 1933). "The Road to Peace". The New York Times. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  29. ^ "Cabinet Members Explain New Deal; Cummings and Roper Urge at Rollins College Education as Aid to Government. Both Receive Degrees: College at Founders' Day Celebration Honors Frank B. Kellogg for World Peace Efforts". The New York Times. February 27, 1934. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  30. ^ Installation ceremony of Frank B. Kellogg at Permanent Court of International Justice, The Hague (1930), at YouTube.
  31. ^ "APS Member History". search.amphilsoc.org. Retrieved July 7, 2023.
  32. ^ Russell D. Buhite, "Nelson Johnson and American Policy Toward China, 1925-1928". Pacific Historical Review (1966): 451-465 online.
  33. ^ Edward Mihalkanin, ed. (2004). American Statesmen: Secretaries of State from John Jay to Colin Powell. pp. 293-98.
  34. ^ "Mrs. F. B. Kellogg, Diplomat's Widow; Was Hostess for Her Husband Co-Author of Peace Pact and Ex-Secretary of State Dies at St. Paul Home Aided Mrs. Coolidge at White House Fetes: Couple Marked 50th Anniversary in 1936". The New York Times. October 3, 1942. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  35. ^ Denslow, William R. (1957). "10,000 Famous Freemasons". The Phoenixmasonry Masonic Museum and Library. Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply Co. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  36. ^ "Carleton College Gets $500,000 Gift; Frank B. Kellogg Establishes Unit for Study of International Relations". The New York Times. June 8, 1937. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  37. ^ "Frank B. Kellogg House". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on April 3, 2008. Retrieved January 8, 2008.
  38. ^ Millett, Larry (2007). AIA Guide to the Twin Cities: The Essential Source on the Architecture of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Minnesota Historical Society Press. p. 142. ISBN 978-0-87351-540-5.
  39. ^ Frank B. Kellogg Papers

Further reading

  • Bryn-Jones, David (1937). Frank B. Kellogg: A Biography. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. (Reprinted in 2007: ISBN 978-1-4325-8982-0) online
  • Carroll, Francis M. "Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg Comes to Ireland, 1928". in America and the Making of an Independent Ireland (New York University Press, 2021) pp. 184–198.
  • Cleaver, Charles G. "Frank B. Kellogg: Attitudes and Assumptions Influencing His Foreign Policy Decisions" (PhD dissertation, University of Minnesota; ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 1956. 590377).
  • Ellis, Lewis Ethan (1961). Frank B. Kellogg and American Foreign Relations, 1925-1929. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press. online
  • Ellis, Lewis Ethan (1968). Republican Foreign Policy, 1921–1933 online
  • Ellis, L. Ethan (1961). "Frank B. Kellogg" in An Uncertain Tradition: American Secretaries of State in the 20th Century. ed. Norman A. Graebner. pp. 149–67.
  • Ferrell, Robert H. Frank B. Kellogg & Henry L. Stimson: The American Secretaries of State and Their Diplomacy. Cooper Square Publishers, 1963. online
  • Rhodes, Benjamin D. (2001). United States Foreign Policy in the Interwar Period, 1918–1941: The Golden Age of American Diplomatic and Military Complacency. pp. 57–72.
  • Weber, Eric. "Kellogg, Frank Billings (1856–1937)". MNopedia. Minnesota Historical Society.

Primary sources

  • Kellogg, Frank (1925). China's Outstanding Problems. OCLC 40941492.
  • Kellogg, Frank B. "American Policy and Chinese Affairs". American Bar Association Journal 11.9 (1925): 576-579. online
  • Kellogg, Frank B. "Some Foreign Policies of the United States". Foreign Affairs, vol. 4, no. 2, 1926, pp. i-xvii. online
  • Kellogg, Frank B. "The World Court". Minnesota Law Review 14 (1929): 711+ online.
Party political offices
First Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Minnesota
(Class 1)

1916, 1922
Succeeded by
U.S. Senate
Preceded by U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Minnesota
Served alongside: Knute Nelson
Succeeded by
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by United States Secretary of State
Succeeded by