Skip to main content

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.


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

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Bunker, Ellsworth." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . 15 Aug. 2018 <>.

"Bunker, Ellsworth." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . (August 15, 2018).

"Bunker, Ellsworth." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Retrieved August 15, 2018 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.