Christian Herter

Christian Archibald Herter ( born March 28, 1895 in Paris, † December 30, 1966 in Washington, DC ) was an American politician of the Republican Party. He was from 1953 to 1956 and Governor of Massachusetts from 1959 to 1961 U.S. Secretary of State.

Early life

Christian Herter was born in 1895 as son of the American artist Albert Herter and Adele McGinnis in the French capital Paris. There he attended from 1901 to 1904 the École Alsatienne. 1904 the family moved to New York City, where Christian until 1911 the Browning School visited. He then studied at Harvard University and completed his studies in 1915. The following year he was attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin.

Political career

Herter 1931 was first elected to the House of Representatives of Massachusetts, where he remained until 1942. From 1942 to 1953 he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, where he performed, among others, as a proponent of the Marshall Plan. In 1948 he was a board in the American Committee for a United Europe. In 1953 he was elected governor of Massachusetts. An attempt Harold Stassen, President Eisenhower in 1956 to move to make Herter instead of Richard Nixon as Vice President, failed.

After Herter 1956 no longer took in the gubernatorial elections, he was appointed in February 1957 to the Deputy Foreign Minister ( Undersecretary of State ). As Secretary of State John Foster Dulles became seriously ill, President Eisenhower appointed Herter then in April 1959 as the successor to his cabinet. After the election of John F. Kennedy as president in 1960 Herter worked with in various commissions and advisory boards as elder statesman. In 1961 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom; the following year he became the first commercial agent of the United States.

Herter was an internationalist who strongly campaigned for the improvement of economic and political cooperation with Europe. He died in 1966 at the age of 71 years in Washington and was buried in Millis (Massachusetts ).

Private life

Herter married 1917 the wealthy by inheritance Mary Caroline Pratt ( 1895-1980 ). She was the daughter of Frederic B. Pratt, a long-time president of the Pratt Institute, and the granddaughter of the entrepreneur and philanthropist Charles Pratt. The couple had one daughter and three sons, among them Christian Archibald Herter Jr., who worked as a diplomat.


Christian Herter founded in 1943 with Paul Nitze, the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS ) in Washington, today ( 2011) at Johns Hopkins University, with its headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland, is located and the most prestigious research institutions belongs in the field of international politics.

Since 1968, the American Foreign Service Association gives a Christian A. Herter price.


  • Christian Herter: Toward an Atlantic Community. 1963