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Robert Bacon

For other people named Robert Bacon, see Robert Bacon (disambiguation).
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Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, U.S.

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New York City, New York, U.S.

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Gaspar Griswold Bacon
Elliot Cowdin Bacon
Martha Beatrix Bacon

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Robert Bacon (July 5, 1860 – May 29, 1919) was an American statesman and diplomat. He served as United States Secretary of State from January to March 1909.[1]

Biography

Born in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, to William Benjamin Bacon and Emily Crosby Low, he was a graduate of Harvard University (Class of 1880), where he was a member of the A.D. Club and Delta Kappa Epsilon. He was married on October 10, 1883 to Martha Waldron Cowdin. They had four children: Robert Low Bacon, Gaspar Griswold Bacon, Elliot Cowdin Bacon, and Martha Beatrix Bacon who married George Whitney (1885-1963). Their son Robert was a United States Congressman and Gaspar was the President of the Massachusetts Senate from 1929–32 and Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts from 1933-1935.

He worked in the business world, including partnership with J.P. Morgan & Co. for many years starting in 1894. He acted as J.P. Morgan's chief lieutenant and participated in the formation of the U.S. Steel Corporation and the Northern Securities Company. The pressure of the job shot his nerves, and he left the company in 1903.

He was named Assistant Secretary of State in 1905, a position which held until 1909— he was acting Secretary while Elihu Root was in South America in 1906. He became full Secretary only for the last 38 days of the term of President Theodore Roosevelt (with whom he was friends at Harvard), from January 27 to March 5, 1909. Bacon obtained the advice and consent of the Senate for the Panama Canal treaties with Colombia and Panama. He served as United States Ambassador to France from 1909 until 1912. He became a Fellow of Harvard in 1912.

In August 1914 he went to France to help with the work of the American Field Service - which provide ambulances and drivers to support French and British forces. He was also attached to the British Army Medical Corps and assisted with the establishment of a typhoid hospital near Ypres. His book For Better Relations with Our Latin American Neighbors was published in 1915. He was then commissioned a major in the U.S. Army in May 1917 before sailing to France as a member of General Pershing's staff. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1918 and served as Chief of the American Military Mission at British General Headquarters. He returned to the United States in April 1919.

Bacon died on May 29, 1919 from blood poisoning after undergoing surgery on his mastoiditis.[1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Col. Robert Bacon Dies In Hospital. Ex-Secretary of State Expires of Blood Poisoning After Mastoiditis Operation. Ex-Ambassador To France. Noted Financier Was Former Member of Firm of J. Pierpont Morgan--His War Services. Robert Bacon's Career. Aided Roosevelt in Coal Strike. Advocate of Preparedness. Criticised Wilson's Policies.". New York Times. May 30, 1919. Retrieved 2011-03-25. Colonel Robert Bacon, former Secretary of State and ex-Ambassador to France, died last night at 11:30 o'clock in the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, as the result of the development of blood poisoning in the neck following an operation for mastoiditis ... 

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Elihu Root
U.S. Secretary of State
Served under: Theodore Roosevelt

January 27, 1909 – March 5, 1909
Succeeded by
Philander C. Knox
Preceded by
Francis B. Loomis
United States Assistant Secretary of State
September 5, 1905 – January 27, 1909
Succeeded by
John Callan O'Laughlin
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Henry White
United States Ambassador to France
1909–1912
Succeeded by
Myron T. Herrick

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