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Blair, Francis Preston (12 April 1791–18 October 1876), newspaper editor and presidential adviser, was born in Abingdon, Virginia, the son of James Blair, a lawyer and, later, attorney general of Kentucky, and Elizabeth Smith; he was usually called Preston. Reared in Frankfort, Kentucky, Blair graduated with honors from Transylvania University in 1811. In 1812 he married Eliza Violet Gist ( ...

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Bundy, McGeorge (30 March 1919–16 September 1996), 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, ...

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Clifford, Clark (25 December 1906–10 October 1998), Washington, D.C., lawyer and presidential adviser, was born Clark McAdams Clifford in Fort Scott, Kansas, the son of Frank Andrew Clifford, an auditor with the Missouri Pacific Railroad, and Georgia McAdams, a children's advocate and lecturer in the National Story Tellers' League. After enjoying a well-mannered midwestern upbringing, in 1923 Clifford enrolled at Washington University in Saint Louis. Two years later he transferred to that university's law school, graduating in 1928. The same year, at age twenty-one, Clifford was hired by the prestigious Saint Louis law firm of Holland, Lashly, & Donnell. The following year while traveling in Europe he met the Boston‐born Margery Pepperell Kimball, whom he married in 1931. The couple raised three daughters together....

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Cohn, Roy (20 February 1927–02 August 1986), anti-Communist crusader, powerbroker, and attorney, was born Roy Marcus Cohn in New York City, the son of Al Cohn, a state judge and Democratic party figure, and Dora Marcus. Dora’s father, Sam Marcus, had founded the Bank of United States, which served a largely Jewish, immigrant clientele. The bank failed during the Great Depression, and the trial of Dora’s brother Bernie Marcus for fraud was one of the formative influences of Roy’s childhood. Al Cohn was the son of a pushcart peddler, had attended law school at night, and used his political influence in the Bronx, as well as Dora’s money, to gain a position as a state trial court judge and later a seat on the intermediate state appellate court. Roy was educated at the Horace Mann School. He had an undistinguished career as an undergraduate at Columbia College and was only admitted to Columbia Law School because of the dearth of students caused by World War II and his father’s political influence. Roy did, however, finish both college and law school in three and a half years and, at age twenty, was too young to enter the bar. He spent a year as a clerk/typist for the U.S. attorney for New York and was promoted to assistant U.S. attorney after his twenty-first birthday....

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Gilpatric, Roswell L. (04 November 1906–15 March 1996), lawyer and presidential aide, was born Roswell Leavitt Gilpatric in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Walter Hodges Gilpatric, a lawyer, and Charlotte Elizabeth Leavitt Gilpatric. He entered Yale University in 1924, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and received his B.A. with honors in 1928. He then entered Yale Law School, was an editor of the ...

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Hanna, Marcus Alonzo (24 September 1837–15 February 1904), businessman, presidential campaign manager, and U.S. senator, known as Mark Hanna, was born above his family’s grocery store in New Lisbon, Ohio, the son of Samantha Converse, a schoolteacher, and Leonard Hanna, who practiced medicine before joining his father and brothers in the grocery business. A proposed canal to link New Lisbon to the Ohio River failed, wiping out Hanna’s grandfather’s investment and pushing the town into commercial decline. Hanna’s father established a new wholesale grocery and shipping business in Cleveland, where he moved his family in 1852. Mark Hanna attended public schools and Western Reserve College, leaving college after getting caught in a student prank. As a traveling salesman for the family business, the gregarious Hanna proved a resourceful competitor. Elected second lieutenant in a Cleveland-based infantry in 1861, he instead became managing partner of the business following his father’s illness and December 1862 death. Called to defend Washington, D.C., during the summer of 1864, he served briefly in uniform but saw no combat....

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Hopkins, Harry Lloyd (17 August 1890–29 January 1946), New Deal administrator and presidential adviser, was born in Sioux City, Iowa, the son of David Aldona Hopkins, a salesman and merchant, and Anna Picket. Hopkins grew up in modest circumstances. The family moved frequently during his youth and in 1901 settled in Grinnell, Iowa. He attended Grinnell College, where he was instilled with social ideals and Progressive political values of honest government, public service by experts, and aid to the “deserving” poor. After graduating in 1912 he entered social work in New York City. The next year he married Ethel Gross, a social worker. They had three sons. A daughter died in infancy....

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House, Edward Mandell (26 July 1858–28 March 1938), presidential adviser, was born in Houston, Texas, the son of Thomas William House, a wealthy merchant, banker, and landowner, and Mary Elizabeth Shearn. He led a privileged youth, meeting many prominent people, who visited the large family homes in Galveston and Houston, and enjoying the colorful life of his father’s sugar plantation. As a boy he rode and hunted, roaming the vast coastal plains near Houston....

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Kleindienst, Richard G. (05 August 1923–03 February 2000), government official, was born Richard Gordon Kleindienst on a farm near Winslow, Arizona, the son of Alfred R. Kleindienst, a railroad brakeman and local postmaster, and Gladys Love Kleindienst. His mother died when he was still a young boy, and his father hired a Navajo woman to serve as housekeeper for the family. She taught him the Navajo language, in which he became exceptionally proficient. Kleindienst later said that the diversified racial composition of Winslow—more Indians, Mexicans, and Asians than whites—gave him important lessons in respect for the rights of all human beings....

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Moses, Robert (18 December 1888–29 July 1981), public official, was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of Emanuel Moses, a department store owner, and Bella Silverman. His family moved to Manhattan when he was nine. He attended various private schools, including the Ethical Culture School and the Dwight School, supplemented by private tutoring. At fifteen he was sent to the Mohegan Lake Academy, a boarding school near Poughkeepsie, before he returned to New Haven to attend Yale in 1905. Moses graduated in 1909, one of only five Jews in his class. An avid reader and reportedly a brilliant student, he continued his education first at Oxford and then later at Columbia University, where he was awarded a Ph.D. in political science in 1914. His doctoral dissertation, which he had started at Oxford, was titled ...

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Roper, Elmo (31 July 1900–30 April 1971), market researcher and public opinion analyst, was born Elmo Burns Roper, Jr., in Hebron, Nebraska, the son of Elmo Burns Roper, a banker, and Coco Malowney. He attended the University of Minnesota (1919–1920) and the University of Edinburgh (1920–1921), but he did not receive a degree. In 1922 he married Dorothy Shaw; they had two children....

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Taylor, Maxwell Davenport (26 August 1901–19 April 1987), army officer and presidential adviser, was born in Keytesville, Missouri, the son of John E. M. Taylor, an attorney, and Pearle Davenport. At West Point, Taylor distinguished himself as a scholar, finishing fourth in a class of 102 students in 1922, and he was an excellent tennis player....

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Weinberg, Sidney James (12 October 1891–23 July 1969), investment banker and presidential adviser and administrator, was born in Brooklyn's Red Hook section, as the son of Sophie Barr Weinberg and Pincus Weinberg, a wholesale liquor dealer. As a boy, he attended Brooklyn Public School 13 and at age ten held several part-time jobs. In 1901 he sold newspapers at the Brooklyn ferry station, peeled oysters, and served as a deliverer for a millinery firm. In 1906 the young Weinberg acquired his first experience in the investment world, working first as a broker's runner and then as a helper for two brokers. Having come from a poor family and having wished to improve his plight in life, Weinberg quit school in the eighth grade and went to work full time....

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Young, Owen D. (27 October 1874–11 July 1962), lawyer, business leader, and public servant, was born in Van Hornesville, New York, the son of Jacob Smith Young and Ida Brandow, farmers. Enrolling in St. Lawrence University in 1890, he graduated in 1894. In 1896 he graduated from Boston University Law School cum laude, completing the three-year program in two years. From 1896 to 1903 Young taught evening classes in common-law pleading at the law school....