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Warren Randolph Burgess

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Warren Randolph Burgess
4th United States Permanent Representative to NATO
In office
1957 – March 23, 1961
Appointed byDwight D. Eisenhower
Preceded byGeorge Walbridge Perkins, Jr.
Succeeded byThomas K. Finletter
Personal details
Born(1889-05-07)May 7, 1889
Newport, Rhode Island, U.S.
DiedSeptember 16, 1978(1978-09-16) (aged 89)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political partyRepublican
  • May Ayres
    (m. 1917; div. 1953)
  • (m. 1955)
Alma materBrown University
McGill University
Columbia University

Warren Randolph Burgess (May 7, 1889 – September 16, 1978)[1] was an American banker and diplomat who served as the U.S. Ambassador to NATO from 1957 to 1961.[2]

Early life[edit]

Burgess was born in Newport, Rhode Island (where his father was teaching at the Rogers High School) and grew up in the Chicago, Illinois, area. He was the son of Isaac Bronson Burgess, a Philips Exeter Academy and Brown University graduate who was a teacher,[3] and Ellen (née Wilber) Burgess, an Abbot Academy graduate.[4] His elder brother was Robert Wilbur Burgess (b. 1887), who served as Director of the United States Census Bureau from 1953 to 1961.[3]

Burgess attended Brown University and joined the Delta Upsilon fraternity.[5] He did graduate work at McGill University in Montreal and earned a doctorate from Columbia University in 1920. His dissertation at Columbia was entitled "Trends of School Costs."[6]


He became a prominent banker in New York City. In 1920, as a statistician, he joined the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and remained with the bank for 19 years until he resigned in 1938 as vice president in charge of the Banks government security operation.[6] In 1927, he published "The Reserve Banks and the Money Markets."[6] In 1938, he joined National City Bank of New York (now known as Citibank) becoming vice chairman of the board of directors; later becoming chairman of the Bank's executive committee.[6]

Burgess was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 1942.[7] He was elected President of the American Bankers Association and served in that role until 1945, when he was succeeded by Frank C. Rathje. In 1930, he was elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association.[8]

Public service[edit]

In 1953, Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Burgess deputy to the United States Secretary of the Treasury George M. Humphrey and Burgess settled in Washington. The following year in 1954, he was appointed Undersecretary of the Treasury, again by Eisenhower.[6]

In 1957, Eisenhower appointed Burgess to succeed George Walbridge Perkins, Jr. as the United States Permanent Representative to NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization), and he served in this role until 1961 when John F. Kennedy was elected President and appointed Thomas K. Finletter as his replacement. In this capacity he participated in the Bilderberg Conferences in 1958 and 1959.

Personal life[edit]

In 1917, he married Dr. May Ayres (1888–1953), director of nursing education and a statistician. Together, they were the parents of two sons:[6]

  • Leonard Randolph Burgess, an author.[9][10]
  • Julian Ayres Burgess (1921–2008), a former aerospace engineer who married illustrator and painter Virginia McIntyre in 1951.[11]

After the death of his first wife and while he was serving as the Undersecretary of the Treasury for Monetary Affairs, he married Helen Morgan Hamilton (1896–1985), granddaughter of banker J.P. Morgan and widow of Arthur Hale Woods on March 5, 1955. During the war, she served in the Women's Army Corps, rising to the rank of Lt. Colonel.[12][13][14]

Burgess died at his home in Washington, D.C., on September 16, 1978.[6][1] His widow later died on January 25, 1985, in Mystic, Connecticut.[15][16][17] He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.[18]


  1. ^ a b Times, Special To The New York (November 6, 1978). "OBITUARIES | Eisenhower Administration Official". The New York Times. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  2. ^ Blair, W. Granger (September 4, 1959). "PRESIDENT GIVES NATO ASSURANCE; Stresses U.S. Support for Alliance in a Speech on Visit to Headquarters". The New York Times. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  3. ^ a b School, Dedham (Mass ) High (1889). Historical Catalogue of the Dedham High School, Teachers and Students, 1851-1889. H. H. McQuillen. p. 115. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  4. ^ McKeen, Philena (1897). Sequel to Annals of Fifty Years: A History of Abbot Academy. Andover, Mass., 1879-1892. Warren F. Draper. p. 72. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  5. ^ Young, Ralph A. Warren Randolph Burgess, 1889–1978. The American Statistician, Vol. 33, No. 3 (Aug., 1979), p. 136
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Smith, J. Y. (September 18, 1978). "Banker-Economist W.R. Burgess Dies, Ex-Treasury Aide, NATO Ambassador". Washington Post. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  7. ^ "APS Member History". search.amphilsoc.org. Retrieved April 19, 2023.
  8. ^ View/Search Fellows of the ASA, accessed 2016-07-23.
  9. ^ Burgess, Leonard Randolph (1968). Wage and salary administration in a dynamic economy. Harcourt, Brace & World. ISBN 9780155951006. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  10. ^ Holland, Daniel M. (1964). "Review of Top Executive Pay Package". Political Science Quarterly: 129–133. doi:10.2307/2146585. JSTOR 2146585. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  11. ^ "Julian Ayres Burgess". Greenwich Time. June 29, 2008. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  12. ^ Times, Special To The New York (February 22, 1955). "W. Randolph Burgess, Treasury Of fleet, Will Many Mrs. Arthur Woods M". The New York Times. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  13. ^ "MONEY SITUATION GOOD DR. BURGESS DECLARES; Federal Reserve Official Talks to Credit Men--Circulation Down $150,000,000". The New York Times. March 18, 1930. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  14. ^ "Burgess on Advisory Council". The New York Times. January 4, 1947. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  15. ^ "Helen H. Burgess Dies at 88; Historic Preservation Leader". The New York Times. January 28, 1985. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  16. ^ "Helen Hamilton Burgess, the great-great-granddaughter of American revolutionary Alexander..." UPI. January 26, 1985. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  17. ^ "Helen Burgess, Was WAC Aide During WW II". The Washington Post. January 28, 1985. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  18. ^ "Burial detail: Burgess, Warren R". ANC Explorer. Retrieved March 11, 2023.

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by U.S. Ambassador to NATO
Succeeded by