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Hopkins, Harry

Hopkins, Harry (1890–1946), social reformer, statesman.Beginning in 1940, this Iowa‐born social worker and New Deal relief administrator became President Franklin D. Roosevelt's surrogate in matters of international security. Residing in the White House and heading a staff that oversaw interagency preparation for American participation in World War II, Hopkins visited England to accelerate assistance against Nazi Germany and became Lend‐Lease coordinator in March 1941. Following Germany's attack on the Soviet Union in June, Hopkins flew to Moscow and recommended immediate Lend‐Lease to the Russians. In London, he accompanied Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill to his Atlantic Charter meeting with FDR in August 1941. Hopkins then expedited military aid to Allies ahead of America's own rearmament in the remaining months before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

At wartime conferences, Hopkins supported Roosevelt's “grand design” for a liberal postwar international order shaped and supervised by the Big Three. With a naval‐oriented president, Hopkins, who emphasized the goal of defeating Nazi Germany in Europe, proved a “Godsend” to Gen. George C. Marshall and Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson; at the Teheran conference in 1943, he vigorously opposed Churchill's proposed Balkan invasion. At Yalta, early 1945, he optimistically viewed the compromise agreements as “the first great victory of the peace.” Hopkins served as President Harry S. Truman's special envoy to Josef Stalin in June 1945; he died of stomach cancer six months later.
[See also Lend‐Lease Act and Agreements; World War II: Military and Diplomatic Course; World War II: Postwar Impact.]


Robert E. Sherwood , Roosevelt and Hopkins, 1948.
George McJimsey , Harry Hopkins, 1988.

J. Garry Clifford

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