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Vance, Cyrus R.locked

(27 March 1917–12 January 2002)
  • Richard Harmond


Vance, Cyrus R. (27 March 1917–12 January 2002), diplomat and government official, was born Cyrus Roberts Vance in Clarksburg, West Virginia, the son of John Carl, an affluent insurance executive, and Amy Roberts Vance, a social activist and member of a Philadelphia mainline family. His father died when Cyrus was five, and the major influence in Cyrus's young life was his mother. He attended the privileged Kent School, where he played football and ice hockey and rowed with a crew that won the Henley Regatta. He graduated in 1935 and entered Yale College, where he majored in economics. He earned his BA in 1939 and attended Yale Law School, graduating in 1942. His professors recalled Vance as an exceptional student with an unusually retentive memory. That year he joined the U.S. Navy, serving as an officer on destroyers and seeing action in the Pacific theater. He was discharged in 1946, and after passing the New York State bar exam in 1947, he joined the firm of Simpson, Thatcher, and Bartlett. He married Grace Sloane in 1947; they had five children. Vance became a full partner of the law firm in 1956 but a year later received a request from Senator ...

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