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John Nichol Irwin II (December 31, 1913 – February 28, 2000) was a United States diplomat and attorney during the Cold War.[1][2] During World War II, he served in the Army in the Pacific as a member of General Douglas MacArthur's staff and reached the rank of lieutenant colonel.[1]

John N. Irwin
John N. Irwin, II.jpg
United States Ambassador to France
In office
March 23, 1973 – October 20, 1974
Preceded byArthur K. Watson
Succeeded byKenneth Rush
26th United States Under Secretary of State
In office
September 21, 1970 – July 12, 1972
Preceded byElliot L. Richardson
Succeeded byNone
Personal details
John Nichol Irwin II

December 31, 1913
Keokuk, Iowa United States
DiedFebruary 28, 2000(2000-02-28) (aged 86)
New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Political partyRepublican
Jane Watson
(m. 1940; her death 1970)

Jane Reimers
(m. 1976; his death 2000)
ChildrenJohn, Jane, Watkins (stepchild), Thomas (stepchild), Carl (stepchild)


He was born on December 31, 1913 in Keokuk, Iowa.[1]

He was the last person to hold the position of Under Secretary of State when that was the U.S. State Department's second-ranking office (1970-1972). Then, he was the first person to hold the office that replaced Under Secretary: the "Deputy Secretary" of State (1972-1973). In both capacities, his superior was Secretary William P. Rogers. Irwin subsequently served as U.S. Ambassador to France.[2]

He died on February 28, 2000 in New Haven, Connecticut.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Nick Ravo (February 29, 2000). "John N. Irwin II, 86, Diplomat And Ex-Aide to MacArthur". New York Times.
  2. ^ a b "John N. Irwin II". Soylent Communications. Retrieved 2009-08-24.
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Arthur K. Watson
United States Ambassador to France
Succeeded by
Kenneth Rush