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date: 21 November 2019

Wisner, Frank Gardinerlocked

(23 June 1909–29 October 1965)
  • Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones


Wisner, Frank Gardiner (23 June 1909–29 October 1965), intelligence official, was born in Laurel, Mississippi, the son of Frank George Wisner, a lumber businessman, and Mary Gardiner. He graduated in liberal arts in 1931 from the University of Virginia, where he also secured his LL.B. three years later. In 1935 he was admitted to the New York bar. In 1936 he married Mary Ellis “Polly” Knowles; they raised four children. Wisner’s father, troubled by the economic depression, now demanded that his only surviving son quit training as a sprinter with the American Olympic squad and start earning money with a Wall Street law firm. In this way Wisner—who in future years showed himself to be deeply sensitive to aspirational frustration—became an uneasy recruit to the capitalist system he was to spend his life defending....

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