William P. Rogers
|55th United States Secretary of State|
January 22, 1969 – September 3, 1973
|Preceded by||Dean Rusk|
|Succeeded by||Henry Kissinger|
|63rd United States Attorney General|
October 23, 1957 – January 20, 1961
|Preceded by||Herbert Brownell|
|Succeeded by||Robert Kennedy|
|3rd United States Deputy Attorney General|
January 1953 – October 23, 1957
|Preceded by||Ross Malone|
|Succeeded by||Lawrence Walsh|
William Pierce Rogers
June 23, 1913
Norfolk, New York, U.S.
January 2, 2001
Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.
Colgate University (B.A.)
Cornell Law School (J.D.)
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
William Pierce Rogers (June 23, 1913 – January 2, 2001) was an American politician, who served as a cabinet officer in the administrations of two U.S. presidents in the third quarter of the 20th century.
- Early life and education 1
- Early legal career and military service 2
- U.S. Deputy Attorney General 3
- U.S. Attorney General (1957–1961) 4
- Return to legal career 5
- U.S. Secretary of State (1969–1973) 6
- Later life, death and legacy 7
- Sources 8
- Notes 9
- External links 10
Early life and education
He attended Colgate University, where he was initiated into the Sigma Chi fraternity. He then went to Cornell University Law School. He received his law degree and passed the New York Bar in 1937, and he married Adele Langston Rogers (August 15, 1911 – May 27, 2001). The couple had four children, Dale R. Marshall, Douglas L. Rogers, Anthony W. Rogers and Jeffrey L. Rogers.
Early legal career and military service
After serving about a year as an attorney for a organized crime.
While serving as a Committee Counsel to a US Senate committee, he examined the documentation from the House Un-American Activities Committee's investigation of Alger Hiss at the request of Congressman Richard M. Nixon, and advised Nixon that Hiss had lied and that the case against him should be pursued.
U.S. Deputy Attorney General
As Deputy Attorney General, Rogers had some role in or insight into the process that led to the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for espionage.
As deputy attorney general, Rogers was involved in the Little Rock Integration Crisis in the fall of 1957 of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. In that capacity, he worked with Osro Cobb, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, to implement federal orders and to maintain peace in the capital city. In his memoirs, Cobb recalls that Rogers called him to discuss the possibility of violence. Cobb writes, "Our conversation was somewhat guarded. I had never recommended the use of federal troops, and Rogers asked if I thought they were necessary. I told him I hoped not. Then to my surprise he stated, 'They are on their way already.'"
U.S. Attorney General (1957–1961)
Rogers served as Attorney General from 1957 to 1961. He remained a close advisor to Vice President Nixon throughout the Eisenhower administration, especially during Eisenhower's two medical crises. Rogers became attorney general upon the resignation of his superior, Herbert Brownell, who had worked to implement the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School. In 1958, Little Rock closed its public schools for a year to oppose further desegregation required by the U.S. government. At the time Rogers said that "It seems inconceivable that a state or community would rather close its public schools than comply with decisions of the Supreme Court.
Return to legal career
U.S. Secretary of State (1969–1973)
Preceded by Dean Rusk, Rogers served as United States Secretary of State in the Nixon administration from January 22, 1969, through September 3, 1973. One of his notable works was to initiate efforts at a lasting peace in the Arab–Israeli conflict through the so-called Rogers Plan. Throughout his tenure, however, his influence was drastically circumscribed by Nixon's determination to handle critical foreign policy strategy and execution directly from the White House through his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger.
Later life, death and legacy
Rogers led the investigation into the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger. This panel, called the Rogers Commission, was the first to criticize NASA management for its role in negligence of safety in the Space Shuttle program. Among the more famous members of Rogers' panel were astronauts Neil Armstrong and Sally Ride, Air Force general Donald Kutyna, and physicist Richard Feynman.
Rogers worked at his law firm, now renamed Clifford Chance Rogers & Wells after a 1999 merger, in its Washington office until several months before his death.
He died of congestive heart failure, at the Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland on January 2, 2001, at the age of 87. Rogers was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. At the time of his death, he was the last surviving member of the Eisenhower Administration.
In 2001, the Rogers family donated to Cornell Law Library that reflect the lives of William and Adele Rogers, the majority of items from the years 1969–1973.
His son, Jeffrey Langston Rogers, served as City Attorney for Portland, Oregon, from 1985 to 2004.
- The Presidency Project
- Roberts, Sam (June 26, 2008). "Spies and Secrecy".
- Osro Cobb, Osro Cobb of Arkansas: Memoirs of Historical Significance, Carol Griffee,ed. (Little Rock, Arkansas: Rose Publishing Company), (1989), p. 234
- Osro Cobb, pp. 267–268
- Martin Luther King, Jr (November 19, 1959). "To William P. Rogers" (PDF). Stanford University.
- Richard P. Feynman, What Do You Care What Other People Think?, ed. Ralph Leighton, pub. W. W. Norton (1988) p.124
- Stout, David (January 4, 2001). "William P. Rogers, Who Served as Nixon's Secretary of State, Is Dead at 87".
- http://library.lawschool.cornell.edu/WhatWeHave/SpecialCollections/Rogers.cfm materials
- Papers of William P. Rogers, Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library
- Finding aid for the William P. Rogers Oral History, Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library
United States Deputy Attorney General
United States Attorney General
United States Secretary of State