Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., in his book on the Kennedy presidency, A Thousand Days, wrote that Kennedy was not part of what he called the "New York establishment":

"In particular, he was little acquainted with the New York financial and legal community-- that arsenal of talent which had so long furnished a steady supply of always orthodox and often able people to Democratic as well as Republican administrations. This community was the heart of the American Establishment. Its household deities were Henry Stimson and Elihu Root; its present leaders, Robert Lovett and John J. McCloy; its front organizations, the Rockefeller, Ford and Carnegie foundations and the Council on Foreign Relations; its organs, the New York Times and Foreign Affairs."

Universities Edit

Rockefeller, Columbia, Yale, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, Harvard/MIT

Founders Edit

Elihu Root --- He was the prototype of the 20th century "wise man", who shuttled between high-level government positions in Washington, D.C. and New York. In 1905, President Roosevelt named Root to be the United States Secretary of State. Root received the Nobel Peace Prize yet at the outbreak of World War I, Root opposed President Woodrow Wilson's policy of neutrality. Root actively promoted the Preparedness Movement to get the United States ready for actual participation in the war. He was a leading advocate of American entry into the war. In June 1917, at age 72, he was sent to Russia by President Wilson as leader of the so-called Root Commission to arrange American co-operation with the new revolutionary government. After World War I, Root supported the League of Nations. He was the founding chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, established in 1918 in New York. Root worked with Andrew Carnegie in programs for international peace and the advancement of science. He was the first president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He helped found the American Society of International Law in 1906. He was among the founders of the American Law Institute in 1923. Furthermore, he also helped create the Hague Academy of International Law in the Netherlands.

Henry Stimson --- He served as Secretary of War on two occasions (1911–1913 and 1940–1945), overseeing a military buildup prior to the First World War, the United States' entry into the Second World War, for which he is best known, and the Manhattan Project. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Skull and Bones. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1890 and joined the prestigious Wall Street law firm of Root and Clark in 1891, becoming a partner two years later. Elihu Root, a future Secretary of War and Secretary of State, became a major influence on and role model for Stimson. Stimson, a lawyer, insisted — against the initial wishes of both Roosevelt and Churchill - on proper judicial proceedings against leading war criminals. He and the United States Department of War drafted the first proposals for an International Tribunal, and this soon received backing from the incoming President Truman. Stimson's plan eventually led to the Nuremberg Trials of 1945-1946 that have had a significant impact on the development of International Law.

Leaders in the 1960s Edit

Robert A. Lovett --- Fourth United States Secretary of Defense, serving in the cabinet of President Harry S. Truman from 1951 to 1953 and in this capacity, directed the Korean War. Domhoff described Lovett as a "Cold War architect". He was also a core member of the group of foreign policy elders known as "The Wise Men." The son of R.S. Lovett, president and chairman of the board of the Union Pacific Railroad, he was a member of the Skull and Bones society at Yale University. Lovett began his business career as a clerk at the National Bank of Commerce in New York and later moved to Brown Brothers Harriman and Company, where he eventually became a partner. In September 1945, President Harry Truman wrote: "He has truly been the eyes, ears and hands of the Secretary of War in respect to the growth of that enormous American airpower which has astonished the world..." He strongly supported universal military training, regarding it as the only viable long-term approach. He was a firm proponent of NATO

John J. McCloy --- A prominent United States presidential advisor, served on the Warren Commission, and was a member of the foreign policy establishment group of elders called "The Wise Men." McCloy was the chief architect of the Japanese Internment which lasted from 1942-1945. He criticized for this, as well as his refusal to endorse USAAF bombing raids on the rail approaches to Auschwitz concentration camp, and for his pardoning of convicted Nazi war criminals as High Commissioner for Germany. He was a legal counselor to the major German chemical combine I. G. Farben, and was the Assistant Secretary of War from 1941 to 1945, pro-German actions by McCloy resulted in significant protests much later, when McCloy was announcing the Volkswagen Scholarship at Harvard University in 1983. In 1949 he was the U.S. High Commissioner for Germany and held this position until 1952, during which time he oversaw the creation of the Federal Republic of Germany. He served as chairman of the Chase Manhattan Bank from 1953 to 1960, and as chairman of the Ford Foundation from 1958 to 1965; he was also a trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation from 1946 to 1949, and then again from 1953 to 1958, before he took up the position at Ford. From 1954 to 1970, he was chairman of the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations in New York, to be succeeded by David Rockefeller, who had worked closely with him at the Chase Bank. McCloy had a long association with the Rockefeller family, going back to his early Harvard days when he taught the young Rockefeller brothers how to sail. He was also a member of the Draper Committee, formed in 1958 by Eisenhower. He later served as advisor to John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan, and was the primary negotiator on the Presidential Disarmament Committee. On December 6, 1963, he was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, with Special Distinction, by President Lyndon Johnson. He was selected by Johnson to serve on the Warren Commission in 1963. Notably, he was initially sceptical of the lone gunman theory, but a trip to Dallas with Allen Dulles, an old friend also serving on the Commission, in the spring of 1964 to visit the scene of the assassination convinced him of the case. After the war McCloy became a name partner in the Rockefeller-associated prominent New York law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. In this capacity he acted for the "Seven Sisters", the leading multinational oil companies, including Exxon, in their initial confrontations with the nationalisation movement in Libya—as well as negotiations with Saudi Arabia and OPEC. Because of his stature in the legal world and his long association with the Rockefellers, and as a presidential adviser, he was sometimes referred to as the "Chairman of the American Establishment".

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.