Goodpaster, Andrew J(ackson), (Jr.) 1915–2005

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Goodpaster, Andrew J(ackson), (Jr.) 1915–2005

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born February 12, 1915, in Granite City, IL; died of prostate cancer May 16, 2005, in Washington, DC. Military leader, diplomat, government official, and author. A general in the U.S. Army, Goodpaster held many important positions during his career, including serving as commander of NATO, commandant of West Point, and U.S. presidential advisor. Initially intending to become a math teacher, he had to quit school at McKendree College, IL for financial reasons. As a solution to this problem, he enrolled at the U.S. Military Academy to study engineering and earned a B.S. in 1939. He soon found himself assigned to the Panama Canal Zone with the 11th Corps of Engineers, and when the United States entered World War II, Goodpaster was sent to active duty in North Africa and then Italy. Here he saw active fighting and was awarded several medals for bravery, including the Distinguished Service Cross, two Purple Hearts, two Legions of Merit, and the Silver Star. After the war, he was a staff officer for the U.S. War Department's Operations Division. Returning to his studies, he completed an M.A. and M.S.E. at Princeton University in 1949, followed by a Ph.D. in international relations the next year. A modest, highly competent, and dutiful officer, Goodpaster's credentials were considered impeccable by his superiors, and he consequently found himself receiving assignments in positions of increasing responsibility. During the early 1950s, he was an assistant to the chief of staff at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. In 1954 President Eisenhower asked Goodpaster to serve as an assistant in creating military guidelines for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which later led to his position as staff secretary at the White House. After Eisenhower left office in 1961, Goodpaster became assistant divisional commander for the Third Infantry Division in Europe for a year, but he soon returned to Washington as a special assistant to the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President John F. Kennedy. During the Johnson administration, he continued to move up the ranks, eventually serving as director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1966 to 1967. At the time, West Point was undergoing a scandal involving rampant student cheating, and Goodpaster was called in to restore order and return respectability to the school. The general accomplished that task in just one year, and by 1968 he was in Paris helping to negotiate peace talks with North Vietnam. Goodpaster's next job was to serve as supreme allied commander of NATO from 1969 until 1974. He took a step back from military responsibilities for a time to accept a position as fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center in 1975, and from 1976 to 1977 he was a professor at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. Returning to West Point in 1977, Goodpaster reprised his role there until finally retiring in 1981. In his later years, he spent more time writing, publishing several books, including For the Common Defense (1977) and NATO to the Year 2000: Challenges for Coalition Deterrence and Defense: A Report of the Atlantic Council's Working Group on the Future of NATO (1988).



Chicago Tribune, May 17, 2005, section 3, p. 10.

New York Times, May 17, 2005, p. A23.

Times (London, England), May 19, 2005, p. 66.

Washington Post, May 17, 2005, p. B6.

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Goodpaster, Andrew J(ackson), (Jr.) 1915–2005

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