Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.
– February 27
) was a Republican United States Senator
, a U.S. ambassador
to the UN
and the Vatican
(as Representative), and a candidate for Vice President of the United States
Early Life and Career
Lodge was born in Nahant, Massachusetts
. He came from a prominent political and artistic family in Massachusetts. He was the son of the poet George Cabot Lodge
and Mathilda Elizabeth Frelinghuysen (Davis) Lodge. He was the grandson of Senator Henry Cabot Lodge
, the great-great-great-grandson of Senator George Cabot
, and the nephew of Congressman Augustus Peabody Gardner
. After graduating from Harvard University
cum laude in 1924, and working in the newspaper
business, he was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives
Lodge was elected to the U.S. Senate
as a Republican
in 1936; he was the only Republican to defeat a Democratic incumbent that year. He was re-elected in 1942. In 1944 he resigned from the Senate to go on active service in the army in World War II
. He was the first Senator to do so since the Civil War
World War II
Lodge served with distinction during the war, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel
. During the war he saw two tours of duty -- the first in 1942, while also serving as a U.S. Senator, and the second in 1944-45 after resigning from the Senate.
The first period was a continuation of Lodge's longtime service as an Army Reserve Officer. Lodge was a major in the 1st Armored Division, a tank unit based in North Africa that was fighting with British tank troops in Egypt and Libya. In that position Lodge observed the first U.S. armed forces that made actual contact with the Germans on land. That tour ended in July 1942, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered congressmen serving in the military to resign one of the two positions, and Lodge, who chose to remain in the Senate, was ordered by Secretary of War Henry Stimson to return to Washington.
After returning to Washington and winning re-election in November 1942, Lodge served the first year of his new Senate term, but then resigned his Senate seat on February 3, 1944 in order to return to active duty. He saw action in Italy and France. Promoted to a lieutenant colonel, in the fall of 1944 Lodge singlehandedly captured a four-man German patrol. By March 1945 he was decorated with the French Legion of Honor and Croix de Guerre with palm. At the end of the war in 1945 he served as a liaison and interpreter to U.S. Sixth Army commander General Jacob Devers in Devers' surrender negotiations with the German forces in western Austria.
After the war Lodge returned to Massachusetts and resumed his political career.
Return to the Senate and the Drafting of Eisenhower
In 1946 Lodge defeated Democratic Senator David I. Walsh
and returned to the U.S. Senate. He soon emerged as a spokesman for the moderate, internationalist wing of the Republican Party. In late 1951, Lodge began to court General Dwight D. Eisenhower
to run for the Republican presidential nomination. When Eisenhower finally consented, Lodge served as his campaign manager and played a key role in helping Eisenhower to win the nomination over Senator Robert A. Taft
, the candidate of the party's conservative faction.
In the fall of 1952 Lodge found himself locked in a tight race for re-election with John F. Kennedy, then a Congressman from Massachusetts. Due to his efforts in helping Eisenhower, Lodge had neglected his own Senate campaign. In addition, some of Taft's supporters in Massachusetts were angered when Lodge supported Eisenhower, and they defected to Kennedy's campaign. In November 1952 Lodge was narrowly defeated by Kennedy. By an interesting coincidence, in 1916 Henry Cabot Lodge, Sr. had defeated Kennedy's grandfather, John F. Fitzgerald, for the same Senate seat. In yet another coincidence, Lodge's son, George C. Lodge was defeated in his bid for the seat by Kennedy's brother, Ted Kennedy in 1962.
Ambassador to the United Nations
In 1953, he was named U.S. ambassador
to the United Nations
by President Eisenhower, with his office elevated to Cabinet level rank. In contrast to his grandfather
(who had been a principal opponent of the UN's predecessor, the League of Nations
), Lodge was supportive of the UN as an institution for promoting peace. As he famously said about it, "This organization is created to prevent you from going to hell. It isn't created to take you to heaven. Since that time, no one has even approached his record of seven years as ambassador to the UN. During his time as UN Ambassador, Lodge supported the Cold War
policies of the Eisenhower Administration, and often engaged in debates with the UN representatives of the Soviet Union
. In 1959 he escorted Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev
on a highly-publicized tour of the United States.
The 1960 Vice Presidential campaign
Lodge left the ambassadorship during the election of 1960
to run for Vice President
on the Republican ticket headed by Richard M. Nixon
. The duo lost the election to Lodge's old foe, Kennedy, in a razor-thin vote. Nixon chose Lodge as his running mate in the hope that Lodge's presence on the ticket would force Kennedy to divert time and resources to securing his Massachusetts base, but Kennedy won his home state handily. Nixon also felt that the name Lodge had made for himself in the United Nations as a foreign-policy expert would prove useful against the relatively inexperienced Kennedy. The choice of Lodge proved to be controversial, as some conservative Republicans charged that Lodge had cost the ticket votes, particularly in the South, by his pledge (made without Nixon's approval) that as President, Nixon would name at least one African-American to a cabinet post.
Between 1961 and 1962 he was director of the Atlantic Institute.
Ambassador to South Vietnam
Kennedy appointed Lodge to the position of Ambassador to South Vietnam
, which he held from 1963 to 1964. The new ambassador quickly determined that Ngo Dinh Diem
, President of the Republic of Vietnam
, was both inept and corrupt, and that South Vietnam was headed for disaster unless Diem either reformed his administration or was replaced. During that time, Lodge quietly spearheaded a coup
by South Vietnamese military officers to overthrow Diem, in a scheme code-named Operation Bravo Two
. Yet, at the same time, Lodge offered the Vietnamese President and his brother asylum in the United States in fear of their lives. But Diem was assassinated by conspirators before he could accept Lodge's offer. By most accounts, Lodge was unaware in advance that the coup leaders intended to murder Diem, believing instead that they would exile
But while the coup toppled the Diem regime, it sparked a rapid succession of leaders in Vietnam, each unable to rally and unify their people, and each in turn overthrown by someone new. As the situation in the region deteriorated, Lodge suggested to the State Department that South Vietnam be made to relinquish its independence, and it be made a protectorate of the United States so as to bring governmental stability. The alternatives, he warned, were either increased military involvement by the U.S., or else total abandonment of South Vietnam by America.
"Walking for President"
In 1964, Lodge, while still Ambassador to South Vietnam, was the surprise write-in victor of the Republican New Hampshire primary, defeating declared presidential candidates Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller. His entire campaign was organized by a small band of political amateurs working independently of the ambassador, and Lodge, believing they had little hope of winning him any delegates, did nothing to aid their efforts. But when they scored the New Hampshire upset, Lodge, along with the press and Republican Party leaders, suddenly began to seriously consider his candidacy. Many observers remarked on the situation's similarity to 1952, when Eisenhower had unexpectedly defeated the late Senator Robert A. Taft, then leader of the Republican Party's conservative faction. However, Lodge (who refused to become an open candidate) did not fare as well in later primaries, and Goldwater ultimately won the nomination.
He was re-appointed ambassador
to South Vietnam by President Lyndon B. Johnson
in 1965, and served thereafter as Ambassador at Large
(1967-1968) and Ambassador to West Germany
(1968-1969). In 1969, he was appointed by President Richard Nixon to serve as head of the American team at the Paris peace negotiations, and he served as Special Envoy to the Vatican
from 1970 to 1977.
Lodge married Emily Sears (born 1905) in 1926. They had two sons, George Cabot Lodge
, who was born in 1927 and Henry Sears Lodge, born in 1930.
Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. died in 1985 and was interred in the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.