Reference Entry

Bundy, McGeorge

in American National Biography Online


Published online October 2001 | e-ISBN: 9780198606697

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presidential foreign affairs adviser and philanthropist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Harvey Hollister Bundy, a highly successful lawyer who served as a special assistant to Secretary of War Henry Stimson during World War II, and Katherine Putnam Bundy, who was related to several of Boston's most socially prominent families. He grew up in a noisy, high-spirited household where he and his siblings were encouraged to join their elders in debate about history and politics around the dinner table. (His older brother, William Bundy, would later become a high-ranking State Department official during the administrations of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, serving these presidents at the same time that McGeorge did.) He attended Groton, an elite preparatory school in Massachusetts, where his classmates marveled at his intelligence and his sometimes brazen self-assurance. He became something of a school legend after one incident: when called upon to present a written assignment on the Duke of Marlborough, he stood up and read what sounded like an excellent composition, prompting a hail of giggles from his classmates; his perplexed instructor later found out that he had delivered the entire essay off the cuff, “reading” from a blank sheet of paper.

Reference Entry.  3437 words.  Illustrated.

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