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Harvey Hollister Bundy

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Harvey Hollister Bundy Sr. (March 30, 1888 – October 7, 1963) was an American lawyer, special assistant to the Secretary of War during World War II, and father of William Bundy and McGeorge Bundy, who both served at high levels as government advisors.

Harvey Hollister Bundy
Harvey Hollister Bundy.jpg
Born(1888-03-30)March 30, 1888
DiedOctober 7, 1963(1963-10-07) (aged 75)
Spouse(s)Katherine Lawrence Putnam


Harvey Hollister Bundy was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to McGeorge Bundy, a lawyer; he was grandson to Solomon Bundy, a lawyer and New York Congressman.[1] Bundy attended Yale University and was initiated in the Skull and Bones in 1909.[2]:183[3] He went on to earn his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1914;[4] that same year he began working as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes.

In 1917, Bundy married Katherine Lawrence Putnam, daughter of William Lowell Putnam and niece to Harvard president Abbott Lawrence Lowell. They had three sons, Harvey Bundy Jr., William Bundy and McGeorge Bundy. Bundy became a prominent attorney in Boston.[5]

Bundy and his wife Katherine met Colonel Henry L. Stimson, and the three became friends. Their sons grew up knowing Stimson as a family friend and colleague of their father. Working under President Herbert Hoover, Stimson appointed Bundy as Assistant Secretary of State in July 1931 until March 1933.[6] Bundy also served as special legal assistant to the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.

During World War II he served again under Stimson, then Secretary of War under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, as his Special Assistant on Atomic Matters beginning in 1941.[7] He served as liaison between Stimson and the director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, Vannevar Bush.[8] Bundy also helped implement the Marshall Plan after the war. After the war, his son McGeorge Bundy worked with Stimson to co-author his autobiography, On Active Service in Peace and War (1947).

After the war, he became president of the board of trustees of the World Peace Foundation.[9]

In 1952, he succeeded John Foster Dulles as chairman of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, serving until 1958. (Note: son William Bundy became embroiled in a 1953 scandal, when Senator Joseph McCarthy cited his earlier $400 contribution to Alger Hiss's defense fund in the Hiss-Chambers case. Bundy explained that Donald Hiss, Alger's brother, worked with him at Covington & Burling. Allen Dulles and Vice President Richard M. Nixon defended him, and the matter dropped. Previously, Hiss had served as president at Carnegie in 1946–1949.)

At the age of 75, Harvey Hollister Bundy Sr died on Monday, October 7, 1963 at his home in the City of Boston, Massachusetts.[4]


  1. ^ "Annals of Oxford: Solomon Bundy".
  2. ^ Robbins, Alexandra (2002). Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power. Boston: Little, Brown. ISBN 0-316-72091-7.
  3. ^ "Prom Committee". The Daily morning journal and courier (New Haven, CT). October 10, 1907. p. 1. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Harvey Bundy, 75, Ex-Diplomat, Dies". New York Times. 8 October 1963. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  5. ^ Halberstam, David (2002). The Best and the Brightest. New York, NY: Random House. ISBN 1588360989. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  6. ^ Kenworthy, E.W. (March 1, 1964). "Bundy's Brother to be Rusk Aide". New York Times. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  7. ^ Kenneth W Hechler (5 January 1953). "Memorandum on the Potsdam Conference to David D Lloyd".
  8. ^ Daniel J. Kevles (March 1990). "The Politics of Atomic Reality". Reviews in American History. 18 (1).
  9. ^ Cushman, Barry (2014). "The Clerks of the Four Horsemen". Journal of Supreme Court History. Notre Dame Law School Journal Articles No. 628: 389. Retrieved June 6, 2017.