See K. Bird, The Color of Truth (1998); G. G. Goldstein, Lessons in Disaster: McGeorge Bundy and the Path to War in Vietnam (2008).
(born March 30, 1919, Boston, Mass., U.S.—died Sept. 16, 1996, Boston) U.S. public official and educator. He served in World War II as an intelligence officer. He joined the faculty of Harvard University in 1949 and became dean of arts and sciences in 1953. As special assistant for national security to presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, he was a forceful advocate of expanding U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. He resigned to become president of the Ford Foundation (1966–79) and later taught at New York University (1979–89).
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McGeorge "Mac" Bundy (March 30, 1919–September 16, 1996) was United States National Security Advisor to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson from 1961–1966, and was president of the Ford Foundation from 1966–1979. He is known primarily for his role in escalating the involvement of the United States in Vietnam during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.
Bundy was one of Kennedy's "wise men", a noted professor of government—although not a PhD—at Harvard University. He was later appointed Dean of the Faculty at Harvard, the youngest in the school's history. He moved into public life in 1961, becoming national security advisor in the Kennedy administration. He played a crucial role in all of the major foreign policy and defense decisions of the Kennedy and part of the Johnson administration. These included the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and, most controversially, the Vietnam War. From 1964 he was Chairman of the 303 Committee, responsible for coordinating government covert operations.
He was a strong proponent for participating in Vietnam early in his tenure. He supported escalating the American involvement and the bombing of North Vietnam. He later came to regret the decision, one of the first administration members to do so, and spent much of his later career analyzing and criticizing Vietnam policies.
He left government in 1966 to take over as president of the Ford Foundation, a position he held until 1979. Some critics such as Kai Bird have suggested that the Ford Foundation may not have been independent of U.S. government foreign policy during that period (see The Color of Truth).
His brother William Bundy was also a foreign policy figure during the Vietnam War.