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Frank Charles Carlucci III GCIH (October 18, 1930 – June 3, 2018) was an American politician and diplomat who served as the United States Secretary of Defense from 1987 to 1989 in the administration of President Ronald Reagan.[2]

Frank Carlucci
Frank Carlucci official portrait.JPEG
16th United States Secretary of Defense
In office
November 23, 1987 – January 20, 1989
PresidentRonald Reagan
DeputyWilliam Taft
Preceded byCaspar Weinberger
Succeeded byDick Cheney
15th United States National Security Advisor
In office
December 2, 1986 – November 23, 1987
PresidentRonald Reagan
DeputyPeter Rodman
Preceded byJohn Poindexter
Succeeded byColin Powell
18th United States Deputy Secretary of Defense
In office
February 4, 1981 – December 31, 1982
PresidentRonald Reagan
Preceded byGraham Claytor
Succeeded byPaul Thayer
13th Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
In office
February 5, 1978 – February 4, 1981
PresidentJimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan
Preceded byJohn Francis Blake
Succeeded byBobby Inman
United States Ambassador to Portugal
In office
January 24, 1975 – February 5, 1978
PresidentGerald Ford
Jimmy Carter
Preceded byStuart Scott
Succeeded byRichard Bloomfield
4th Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity
In office
January 1971 – December 1972
PresidentRichard Nixon
Preceded byDonald Rumsfeld
Succeeded byPhillip V. Sanchez
Personal details
Frank Charles Carlucci III

(1930-10-18)October 18, 1930
Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedJune 3, 2018(2018-06-03) (aged 87)
McLean, Virginia, U.S.
Resting placeArlington National Cemetery[1]
Political partyRepublican
Jean Anthony
(m. 1954; div. 1974)

Marcia Myers (m. 1976)
ChildrenThree (Two with Anthony; One with Myers)
EducationPrinceton University (AB)
Harvard University (MBA)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Navy
Years of service1952–1954
RankUS-O3 insignia.svg Lieutenant

Carlucci served in a variety of senior-level governmental positions, including Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity in the Richard Nixon administration, Deputy Director of the CIA in the Jimmy Carter administration, and Deputy Secretary of Defense and National Security Advisor in the Reagan administration.


Early lifeEdit

Carlucci was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the son of Roxanne (née Bacon) and Frank Charles Carlucci, Jr., an insurance broker. His father was of Italian and Swiss descent.[3] His grandfather was from Santomenna in Italy[4]. He graduated from Wyoming Seminary in 1948 and Princeton University in 1952, where he roomed with Donald Rumsfeld, and attended Harvard Business School for an MBA in 1954-55.[5] He was a Naval officer from 1952 until 1954.[6] He joined the Foreign Service, working for the State Department from 1956 until 1969.[7]

Early careerEdit

In 1961, Carlucci was the second secretary at the United States Embassy in the Congo and a covert CIA agent.[6] During that time, Patrice Lumumba, the first prime minister of independent Congo, was executed in January 1961 during the Congo Crisis.[8]

According to subsequently released US government documents, President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered the CIA to eliminate Lumumba.[8][9] Minutes of an August 1960 National Security Council meeting confirm that Eisenhower told CIA chief Allen Dulles to "eliminate" the Congolese leader.[10] The official note taker, Robert H. Johnson, testified to this before the Senate Intelligence Committee in 1975. However, subsequent investigations indicate that Lumumba was ultimately executed by order of political rival Moïse Tshombe of the State of Katanga with Belgian assistance.[8][11]

According to James Schlesinger, a subsequent Prime Minister of the Congo, Cyrille Adoula, began a White House meeting with President John F. Kennedy with the question "Où est Carlucci?" ("Where is Carlucci?"). Kennedy first responded "Who the hell is Carlucci?'" and then sent Dean Rusk to find him.[12]

A fictionalized 2000 biopic of Lumumba, titled Lumumba, and directed by Raoul Peck, portrayed Carlucci as being involved during his service in Congo in the murder of Lumumba.[12][13] Carlucci furiously denied the claims, and successfully went to court to prevent being named in the film when it was released in the United States.[12][13]

Service in Presidential administrationsEdit

Secretary Carlucci at a press conference, 1988

In 1969, when President Nixon persuaded U.S. Rep. Donald Rumsfeld to leave his congressional seat to become director of the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), the agency created by Sargent Shriver to fight President Johnson's War on Poverty, Rumsfeld had Carlucci transferred to OEO from the State Department to head up the Community Action Program.[14] Carlucci was Undersecretary of Health, Education and Welfare when Caspar Weinberger was secretary during the Nixon administration.[14]

Carlucci became Ambassador to Portugal, and served in this position from 1974 until 1977.[14] He was remembered in Portugal among the winners of the November 25 Coup d'État.[15] The Carlucci American International School of Lisbon, the oldest American school in the Iberian Peninsula, is named for him.

Carlucci was Deputy Director of the CIA from 1978 until 1981, under CIA Director Stansfield Turner.[7]

Department of DefenseEdit

Carlucci was United States Deputy Secretary of Defense from 1981 until 1983.[16] He later served as United States National Security Advisor from 1986 until 1987.[17]

Carlucci became United States Secretary of Defense in 1987, following the resignation of Caspar Weinberger due to his involvement in the Iran-Contra Affair.[7] He served as Secretary of Defense until the end of the Reagan administration on January 20, 1989.[7][14] He was notable during the administration for advocating an arms build-up to hasten the end of the Cold War, a policy which Reagan followed.[14]

Post-Administration workEdit


Carlucci served as chairman of the Carlyle Group from 1992 until 2003, and chairman emeritus until 2005.[7][14] He had business interests in the following companies: Ashland Global Holdings, General Dynamics, Westinghouse, Neurogen, CB Commercial Real Estate, Nortel, BDM International, Quaker Oats, and Kaman.[18] Carlucci was at one time a director of the private security firm Wackenhut,[19] and was a co-founder and senior member of the Frontier Group, a private-equity investment firm.[20] Carlucci was an advisory board member of G2 Satellite Solutions and the Chairman Emeritus of Nortel Networks.[21]


Carlucci was affiliated with the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a conservative think tank.[22] He was Chairman Emeritus of the US-Taiwan Business Council having been Chairman from 1999-2002; he was succeeded in 2003 by William Cohen.[23][24] Carlucci was a member of the Board of Trustees of the RAND Corporation[25] and was founding co-chair of the Advisory Board for RAND's Center for Middle East Public Policy.[26] He was also a member of the Honorary Board of the Drug Policy Alliance, a group which advocates drug legalization.[27]

Personal life and deathEdit

Carlucci was married to Billie Jean Anthony from 1954 until the couple divorced in 1974.[28] They had two children.[28] Carlucci was later married to Marcia McMillan Myers from 1976 until his death. They had one daughter.[28]

Carlucci died on June 3, 2018, from complications of Parkinson's disease, at his home in McLean, Virginia, at the age of 87.[6][7]



  1. ^ Frank Carlucci III Notice
  2. ^ "Frank C. Carlucci - Ronald Reagan Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office.
  3. ^ Mazur, Suzan (June 30, 2005). "Suzan Mazur: Frank Carlucci I, "Sublime Prince"". Scoop News. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Frank Carlucci, Carlyle chairman who led Pentagon, dies at 87". Pensions and Investments. June 4, 2018. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Nelan, Bruce (June 4, 2018). "Frank Carlucci, defense secretary and tamer of federal bureaucracies, dies at 87". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Frank C. Carlucci, Diplomat and Defense Secretary to Reagan, Dies at 87". June 4, 2018. Retrieved June 4, 2018 – via
  8. ^ a b c David Akerman (October 21, 2000). "Who Killed Lumumba?". BBC.
  9. ^ Michael S. Mayer (2009). The Eisenhower Years. Infobase Publishing. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-8160-5387-2.
  10. ^ Kettle, Martin (August 10, 2000). "President 'ordered murder' of Congo leader". The Guardian. London.
  11. ^ Witte, Ludo de (2002). The Assassination of Lumumba. Verso. p. 78. ISBN 1859844103. Retrieved April 17, 2018 – via Google Books.
  12. ^ a b c Shorrock, Tim (March 14, 2002). "Company Man". The Nation. Archived from the original on September 21, 2002. Retrieved May 3, 2009.
  13. ^ a b ""Carlucci" bleeped from HBO version of Lumumba". WSWS. March 15, 2002. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  14. ^ a b c d e f "Frank Carlucci, Carlyle Chairman Who Led Pentagon, Dies at 87". Bloomberg. June 4, 2018. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  15. ^ Frank Carlucci parecia "um típico mafioso italiano" Archived July 7, 2012, at, João Pedro Henriques, 13 de Novembro 2008
  16. ^ SecDef stories - Frank C. Carlucci, Department of Defense
  17. ^ "Frank C. Carlucci". Retrieved June 5, 2018. Frank C. Carlucci, who had served as Caspar Weinberger's deputy secretary between 1981 and 1983, succeeded him as secretary of defense.
  18. ^ "BDM International". Brand.Edgar. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  19. ^ "Frank Carlucci Demands His $37 Million". Courthouse News. May 30, 2013. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  20. ^ "Frank C. Carlucci Biography". Bloomberg. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  21. ^ "Frank C. Carlucci". CSIS. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  22. ^ B.W.Holmes (December 2004). "Partial list of people associated with the Project For The New American Century". Reasoned spirituality. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  23. ^ "About the Council". US-Taiwan Business Council. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  24. ^ Conley, Richard S. (2017). Historical Dictionary of the Reagan-Bush Era (2 ed.). Rowman & Littlefield. p. 50. ISBN 1538101815.
  25. ^ "The Carluccis Support RAND's Commitment to Follow the Research Wherever It Leads". RAND. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  26. ^ "Frank Charles Carlucci III". SourceWatch. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  27. ^ DPA 2010 Annual Report, p. 22.
  28. ^ a b c "Frank Carlucci". NNDB. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  29. ^ "Cidadãos Estrangeiros Agraciados com Ordens Portuguesas". Página Oficial das Ordens Honoríficas Portuguesas. Retrieved March 20, 2019.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Donald Rumsfeld
Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity
Succeeded by
Philip Sanchez
Preceded by
Graham Claytor
United States Deputy Secretary of Defense
Succeeded by
Paul Thayer
Preceded by
John Poindexter
National Security Advisor
Succeeded by
Colin Powell
Preceded by
Caspar Weinberger
United States Secretary of Defense
Succeeded by
Dick Cheney
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Stuart Scott
United States Ambassador to Portugal
Succeeded by
Richard Bloomfield
Government offices
Preceded by
John Francis Blake
Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
Succeeded by
Bobby Inman