In the years following World War II, the foreign policy and national security strategy of the United States were managed, decade after decade, by a remarkable group of public servants who placed service to their country above partisan politics or private interest. None of these distinguished public servants enjoyed a longer career than Paul H. Nitze.
Paul Nitze advised presidents from Franklin Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan. The titles he held -- Secretary of the Navy, Deputy Secretary of Defense -- do not convey the breadth of his achievement. Weathering criticism from left and right, and surviving the political infighting of nine successive administrations, he remained a strong, steady voice in the halls of power. He was one of the principal authors of the Marshall Plan that rebuilt postwar Europe, and a designer of the national security strategy that saw the United States through the 40-year Cold War with the Soviet Union.
After advising presidents through crises such as those over Berlin and Cuba that led the two superpowers to the brink of nuclear war, Paul Nitze's career culminated with his service as Ambassador-at-Large and Special Adviser for Arms Control to President Reagan. Nitze negotiated the historic agreements to control nuclear weapons that ended the long, deadly competition between the superpowers. The School of Advanced International Studies that Paul Nitze founded at Johns Hopkins University was renamed in his honor, but the endurance of the United States as the world's sole remaining superpower is his greatest monument.