Robert Daniel Murphy
Life and career
Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Murphy began his federal career at the United States Post Office (1916) then moved to be cipher clerk at the American Legation in Bern, Switzerland (1917). He was admitted to the U.S. Foreign Service in 1921. Among the several posts he held were Vice-Consul in Zürich and Munich, consul in Seville, 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 negotiated the Murphy-Weygand Agreement, which allowed the United States to export to French North Africa in spite of the British blockade and trade restrictions against the Vichy-governed area.
In autumn of 1942, at President Franklin D. Roosevelt's behest, Murphy investigated conditions in French North Africa in preparation for the Allied landings – Operation Torch, the first major Western 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.
Prior to the November 8 invasion, Murphy, along with U.S. General Mark W. Clark, had worked to gain the cooperation of French General Henri Giraud for the attack. The Americans and British hoped to place Giraud in charge of all French forces in North Africa and command them for the Allied cause. Giraud, however, mistakenly believed he was to assume command of all Allied forces in North Africa, which put Murphy's diplomatic skills to the test to keep Giraud on board. Murphy and General Clark jointly convinced the French in North Africa to accept Admiral François Darlan—the commander of all French military Forces loyal to the Vichy regime and coincidentally in Algiers—as the highest authority in French North Africa and General Giraud as Commander of all French military in North Africa. Murphy used his friendly contacts with the French in North Africa to gain their cooperation in reentering the war against the Axis. He also needed all his diplomatic skills to steer General Clark away from confrontation with the French—especially Darlan. Darlan was assassinated in late December, removing him as an irritant to good relations.
Keeping the French united and aligned with the Allies into 1943 taxed Murphy's skills to their limit. He gained a powerful ally in British politician (and future Prime Minister) Harold Macmillan, also posted to Algiers in January 1943. The two diplomats worked together amiably to ensure that the Casablanca Conference came off smoothly in January 1943 and that Generals Giraud and de Gaulle would join forces to unite all anti-Axis French alongside the Allies. Keeping the quarrelsome French united and working with the Americans and British exasperated and exhausted Murphy. When General Eisenhower needed a civilian from the State Department to assume a similar role in Italy in 1943, Murphy gladly accepted it and left Algiers behind.
Diplomatic career after World War II
- 1949 Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Belgium
- 1952 Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Japan (first American ambassador to Japan after World War II)
- 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 Dwight D. Eisenhower during the 1958 Lebanon crisis
- 1959 Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
After government service
Murphy retired from the U.S. State Department in December 1959, but became an adviser to Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon. He served on President Gerald Ford's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.
- The Bases of Peace, [Washington] United States Department of State, 1958
- Diplomat among Warriors, [1st ed.], Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1964.
- "Robert D. Murphy, Diplomat, Dies at 83; Planned Allied Invasion of North Africa; Breath-Taking Moment De Gaulle Not Informed Studied Law While Working Envoy to Belgium Ranking "Old Pro"". The New York Times. January 11, 1978. p. B9. (link: @proquest.com). Retrieved 2014-08-23. (subscription required)
- Fox, Margalit (July 10, 2014). "Rosemary Murphy, 89, Emmy Winner Familiar to Broadway, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-08-23.
- Vaughan, Hal (2006). FDR's 12 apostles : the spies who paved the way for the invasion of North Africa. Guilford, Conn.: Lyons Press. ISBN 9781592289165. LCCN 2006022143. Retrieved 2014-08-23.
- "Office of Strategic Services Society". Falls Church, VA. Retrieved 2014-08-23.
- "Robert D. Murphy". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 2014-08-23.
- "Robert Daniel Murphy". Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 1995. GALE|BT2310006918. Retrieved 2014-08-22. Biography in Context.
- "Robert Daniel Murphy Papers, Biographical Note". Stanford, California: Hoover Institution Archives. Retrieved 2014-08-22.
- Weil, Martin (January 10, 1978). "Robert D. Murphy Dies; Longtime U.S. Diplomat Played Key Role in WWII". The Washington Post. p. C6. ProQuest document ID 146964448.
- 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.
- Atkinson, Rick (2002). An army at dawn : the war in North Africa, 1942-1943 (First ed.). New York, NY: Henry Holt & Co. pp. 45–46, 48–91, 61, 72, 89, 93–96, 107, 115, 118–119, 121–123, 158, 251, 252. ISBN 0805062882. LCCN 2002024130. Retrieved 2014-08-23.
- Murphy, Robert. Diplomat among Warriors. pp. 129–131, 136–139.
- Pendar, Kenneth. Adventures in Diplomacy. pp. 105–09, 117–120.
- Juin, Alphonse. Memoire. p. vol. 1, 78–88, 107.
- Giraud, Henri (1949). Un Seul But: La Victoire, Algerie 1942-1944. Paris: R. Julliard. pp. 29–33, 38–40.
- Clark, Mark (1950). Calculated Risk. New York: Harper and Row. pp. 105–116–18, 121.
- Murphy, Robert. Diplomat among Warriers. pp. 163–76, 183–85.
- MacMillan, Harold (1967). The Blast of War, 1939-1945. London: MacMillan. pp. 244–47, 251–54.
- "Japanese Assume New Sovereignty: Little Fanfare Marks Shift From Occupied Status -- Murphy Arrives as U. S. Envoy". The New York Times. 29 April 1952. p. 3.
- "Former Steering Committee Members". bilderbergmeetings.org. Bilderberg Group. Retrieved 2014-02-08.
- "USPS Stamp News: SIX DISTINGUISHED DIPLOMATS HONORED ON U.S. POSTAGE STAMPS". U.S. Postal Service. May 30, 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-10-27. Retrieved 2014-08-23.
- Langer, William L. (1947). Our Vichy Gamble.
- Brands, H. W. (1988). Cold Warriors: Eisenhower's Generation and American Foreign Policy.
- "Editorial, "Gentleman and Diplomat"" (PDF). Foreign Service Journal. January 1960. Retrieved 2014-08-22.
- Murphy, Robert (March 1954). "Remarks of The Honorable Robert Murphy" (PDF). Foreign Service Journal. Retrieved 2014-08-22.
- Murphy, Robert (May 1952). "The Soldier and the Diplomat" (PDF). Foreign Service Journal. Retrieved 2014-08-22.
- Pendar, Kenneth (1976). Adventure in diplomacy: our French dilemma. New York: Da Capo Press.
- Mast, Général Charles (1969). Histoire d’une Rébellion, Alger, 8 novembre 1942. Paris: Plon.
- Juin, Alphonse (1959). Mémoires. Paris: A. Fayard.
- Robert Daniel Murphy at Find a Grave
- The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower, Volume XX
- A film clip "Longines Chronoscope with Robert Murphy" is available at the Internet Archive
- Register of the Robert Daniel Murphy Papers, 1913-1978 and selected documents online at the Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University.
- Newspaper clippings about Robert Daniel Murphy in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics (ZBW)
| United States Ambassador to Belgium
| United States Ambassador to Japan
| Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
|New office|| Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
| Recipient of the Sylvanus Thayer Award
|New office|| Chair of the Intelligence Oversight Board