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Bunker, Ellsworth

Bunker, Ellsworth (1894–1984), U.S. diplomat and businessman.Born into a well‐to‐do family, Ellsworth Bunker looked after his family's sugar interests after graduating from Yale University in 1916, and served as director (1927–66) and chairman of the board (1948–51) of the National Sugar Refining Company. Throughout his long, productive life, Bunker balanced accomplishments in business with a distinguished record of public service.

He made his mark on American history in two key assignments. As American representative to the Organization of American States, Bunker was instrumental in resolving the 1965 Dominican Republic crisis. He persuaded two political rivals, Juan Bosch and Joaquin Balaquer, to agree to compete in open democratic elections, which averted the threat of rule by a military junta or a Communist regime. As ambassador to South Vietnam from 1967 to 1973, Bunker gave stronger direction to the nonmilitary side of the Vietnam War and worked to integrate American civil and military programs there. He helped arrange a compromise between South Vietnamese political rivals Nguyen Van Thieu and Nguyen Cao Ky. Bunker also played a key role in helping mobilize South Vietnam's post–Tet Offensive recovery effort of 1968. Before leaving Saigon, he presided over the U.S. mission during the Paris peace agreements, the withdrawal of American military forces from Vietnam, and North Vietnam's 1972 Easter invasion against South Vietnam.

Bibliography

Bruce Palmer , Intervention in the Caribbean: The Dominican crisis of 1965, 1989.
Richard A. Hunt , Pacification: The American Struggle for Vietnam's Hearts and Minds, 1995.

Richard A. Hunt

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