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Dulles, Allen Welsh

Dulles, Allen Welsh (1893–1969), lawyer, foreign service officer, and intelligence official.The grandson of one secretary of state and nephew of another, Dulles entered the foreign service in 1914. He spent World War I collecting intelligence in Bern, Switzerland, and subsequently assisted the U.S. delegation to the Versailles Conference and served in several embassies before resigning from the State Department in 1926. A Wall Street lawyer until the United States entered World War II, Dulles enlisted in the Office of Strategic Services. Returning to Bern, he earned a reputation as a master spy and covert operator, especially after his Operation Sunrise produced the secret surrender of Germany's forces in Italy without Soviet Knowledge.

In 1947, Dulles helped to draft the section of the National Security Act (1947) creating the Central Intelligence Agency, and in 1951 he became its deputy director for plans, charged with covert operations and clandestine collection. These were the priorities of 1953–61, his tenure as CIA director. Encouraged by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and supported by his brother John Foster Dulles, the secretary of state, he presided over the overthrow of governments in Iran and Guatemala, and the initiation of U‐2 spy planes to overfly the Soviet Union. He neglected research and analysis, however, and the 1961 Bay of Pigs fiasco in Cuba culminated a string of failures. Forced out by President Kennedy, Dulles's final government assignment was to investigate Kennedy's assassination as a member of the Warren Commission.
[See also Cold War: Domestic Course; Cuba, U.S. Military Involvement in.]

Bibliography

John Ranelagh , The Agency: The Rise and Fall of the CIA, 1986.
Peter Grose , Gentleman Spy: The Life of Allen Dulles, 1994.

Richard H. Immerman

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Dulles, Allen Welsh

Allen Welsh Dulles (dŭl´əs), 1893–1969, U.S. public official, b. Watertown, N.Y.; brother of John Foster Dulles. The Dulles brothers, born into America's political establishment, became extremely influential governmental figures, and during the cold war they played principal roles in the developing and implementing United States' interventionist foreign policy. Allen entered the diplomatic service in 1916 and became (1922) chief of the State Deptartment's division of Near Eastern affairs. In 1926 he resigned to practice law. During World War II he was a prominent member of the Office of Strategic Services. Returning (1951) to government service as deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Dulles became director in 1953. Under his leadership, the CIA was strengthened and made a more effective element in the U.S. intelligence system. Dulles resigned in 1961 after a series of events (most notably the Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba) in which the CIA played a controversial role and aroused much criticism. His works include Germany's Underground (1947), The Craft of Intelligence (1963), and Secret Surrender (1966).

See biography by P. Grose (1994); S. Kinzer, The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War (2013).

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Dulles, Allen Welsh

DULLES, Allen Welsh

(b. 7 April 1893 in Watertown, New York; d. 29 January 1969 in Washington, D.C.), lawyer, first civilian director of the CIA (1953–1961), and member of the Warren Commission (1963–1964), which investigated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Dulles's father was Allen Macy Dulles, a Presbyterian minister, and his mother was Edith (Foster) Dulles, the daughter of Secretary of State John Watson Foster. Dulles, the youngest of three children, was born with a clubfoot and had difficulty walking for most of his life. His older brother, John Foster Dulles, was secretary of state under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Their deeply religious parents encouraged their children to honor their obligation to serve all humanity. His parents hired tutors to homeschool their children, though they occasionally attended local schools as well. In fact, Dulles and his sister briefly attended the public Auburn Academic High School but found its curriculum unchallenging, so their parents took them out of school and to France. Dulles attended Princeton from 1910 to 1914, graduating with a B.A. in philosophy; after teaching in India for a year, he returned to Princeton, and in 1916 he received an M.A. in international law.

In 1916 Dulles joined the U.S. Foreign Service. On 16 October 1920 he married Clover Todd; they had three children. He was assigned to Constantinople (later Istanbul) from October 1920 to April 1922, and then went to Washington, D.C., to become the State Department's specialist on the Near East. While in Washington he studied law at George Washington University, receiving an LL.B. in 1926. That same year he resigned from the Foreign Service and joined the prestigious Wall Street law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell.

When the United States entered World War II, Dulles was tabbed to serve in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). After Germany's surrender in 1945 he became a leading advocate of rebuilding Western Europe and served as a congressional adviser on foreign aid and as part of the commission running the Marshall Plan. In 1953 Dulles was appointed director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the successor to the OSS, by President Dwight Eisenhower. He became legendary for his direction of America's espionage agents.

In early 1960 a summit of the leaders of the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and France was scheduled for mid-May. Eisenhower hoped to ease tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union in talks with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. On 1 May 1960 a CIA U-2 spy plane was shot down over Soviet territory, putting the future of the talks at risk. Dulles offered to resign and take the blame, but Eisenhower insisted that no one working for him would take the blame for something the president had chosen to do. On 9 May Eisenhower took responsibility for the U-2 mission, and Khrushchev responded by taking an uncompromising stance against what the Soviet government called "aggression." The summit was a failure. In August 1960 the United States put a reconnaissance satellite in orbit that made U-2 overflights less necessary for tracking the Soviet Union's deployment of nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, another problem was developing. In 1959 Dulles had expressed concern about Castro's Communism, and the CIA station chief for Cuba, J. C. King, recommended subverting Castro. On 13 January 1960, when the matter was suggested to him, Dulles bluntly forbade any attempts to assassinate Castro. On 13 January 1960 Eisenhower authorized the subversion of Castro by the CIA. On 19 October 1960 the Latin American section of the CIA began training a brigade of Cuban exiles in Guatemala to wage a guerrilla war against Castro. When John F. Kennedy was elected president of the United States in November, Dulles told him about the plans to overthrow Castro, and Kennedy expressed his dislike of the idea.

Dulles and Kennedy had trouble communicating. When Kennedy learned of the plan to invade Cuba, two major mistakes were made. First, Kennedy changed the landing place for the Cuban exile brigade from a mountainous region, where the men could quickly disappear into the countryside, to a beach, Bahía de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs); he regarded the mountainous area as too spectacular and public. Second, to protect the brigade, warplanes flown by Cuban exiles were supposed to destroy Cuba's small air force before the landing took place; Dulles failed to tell Kennedy this, and Kennedy forbade the use of the war-planes. When the Bay of Pigs landing occurred, Cuba mustered three old aircraft that were enough to destroy the boats carrying supplies to the Cuban exiles. Further, the CIA leaders were under the impression that the U.S. military would come to the aid of the exiles if they ran into serious trouble, but Kennedy was unaware of this plan. After two days of fighting, on 19 April 1961, the exiles were defeated. Dulles was devastated by the botched operation and fell into a deep depression. Kennedy decided to fire Dulles but waited until August 1961 to do so.

On 22 November 1963 Kennedy was assassinated, and on 29 November 1963 President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Dulles to the Warren Commission, which investigated the murder. Dulles tried to keep the commission from compromising American secret operations that had nothing to do with the killing of Kennedy, but he created suspicion that the CIA withheld knowledge of assassin Lee Harvey Oswald's relationship with the KGB, the Soviet Union's intelligence agency. Meanwhile, Dulles made a prolonged effort to sort out the ballistic evidence, trying to account for the three bullets known to have been fired, but did not do so to his own satisfaction. Eventually Dulles and two other commission members spent days in Dallas, Texas, retracing all of the evidence at the site of the assassination; all three became convinced that the FBI's theory of a lone gunman was the only one that fit the circumstances, and the rest of the commission agreed.

On 21 June 1964 three civil rights workers disappeared near Philadelphia, Mississippi, creating a national uproar. President Johnson asked Dulles to ascertain the facts, and on 24 June 1964 Dulles flew to Jackson, Mississippi, where he was alarmed by the conduct of the state government. He reported to Johnson that the civil rights workers needed protection and that the Mississippi leaders needed to accept that African Americans had a right to aspire to equality. He noted that Mississippi law enforcement actually cooperated with the Ku Klux Klan.

In late 1964 or early 1965 Dulles fell ill, perhaps from a stroke. He had more trouble walking than ever, was stooped, and the sparkle was gone from his speech. Even so, he and his wife enjoyed his retirement until he caught the flu, from which he died on 29 January 1969. He is buried in Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland.

Dulles's legacy included shaping the CIA into its modern form, developing rules of conduct for CIA officers, keeping presidents informed of the world's hidden events, contributing to a Warren Commission report that was soon deemed inadequate, and establishing the standard for statesmanship for the 1950s and 1960s.

Dulles's papers are scattered, but a large collection of personal papers is in the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library of Princeton University. Dulles's The Craft of Intelligence (1963) is a not particularly revealing memoir of his career. Peter Grose, Gentleman Spy: The Life of Allen Dulles (1994) offers a brilliant account of even secret aspects of Dulles's career. Leonard Mosley, Dulles: A Biography of Eleanor, Allen, and John Foster Dulles and Their Family Network (1978) covers the lives of Dulles, his brother John Foster Dulles, and his sister Eleanor Dulles. An obituary is in the New York Times (31 Jan. 1969).

Kirk H. Beetz

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