Dean Rusk Early life and the shaping of his Career.
Dean Rusk's life started out like any other. He was born in cherokee county Georgia and in 1925 he attended an all boys school and was a pretty good football player. When he graduated he made the decision to pursue a career in the military as an officer. This military carreer required extensive college education. During his time at Davidson college he spent two years working under a lawyer to make money to get him through college. He became a Cadet Lieutenant Colonel commanding the Reserve Officers' Training Corps battalion. He graduated in 1931. While studying in England as a Rhodes Scholar at St. John's College, Oxford, he received the Cecil Peace Prize in 1933.
Rusk taught at Mills College in Oakland, California from 1934 to 1949 and earned a law degree at the University of California, Berkeley in 1940.
In 1941 Dean rusk was deployed in the Chinese,Burma and Indian theaters of the second world war. Here he achieved the rank of Colonel before coming back to America in 1945. After the war Dean went back to teaching for several years.
PRIOR TO THE SIXTIES
Rusk served in several positions from 1947 and 1951, including Director of the Office of Special Political Affairs, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, Deputy Under Secretary of State, and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. These all served to help shape the decision making of this man.
In 1961 Dean rusk was appointed by President Kennedy to be his secretary of State. While the role of secretary of state is too advise foreign policy and help decide which way foreign affairs went Dean also gave his input on the civil rights protested that were going on domestically. It's important to know that dean rusk advocated for two things and advised Both Kennedy and Johnson on them. The first one was the issue of the escalation of the war in Vietnam. Though hesitant at first Dean quickly placed full support in the idea that Americas involvement in Vietnam was a necessary war that would help contain the spread of communism in Asia. Even as popularity of the war decreased Dean's belief that the war could be won with a strong push didn't waver.On october 12th he famously said this at one of the conferences concerning the war when a temporary stop to the bombing of Hanoi was suggested "Without the pressure of the bombing, Where would be the incentive for peace?” He added that the Vietnam War was a test of Asia’s ability to withstand the threat of “a billion Chinese…armed with nuclear weapons.” It is speculated that if Dean Rusk hadn't been LBJ's secretary of state he would have been more likely to have started to pull out of Vietnam as the 60s came to a close. In 1990 he told his son "I had a duty to perform: to try to prevent North Vietnam from overrunning South Vietnam by force. That was my job and I tried to do it." If dean could have foreseen the outcome of the war I'm sure he would have pulled out but I don't hold his decision against him because their was no way of knowing what would happen at the time. Domestically Dean was in support for the civil rights movement. This made him somewhat unpopular with some of his fellow southerners in Georgia, where he was born. Dean's influence on the presidents helped to enable the success of the civil rights movement from within the white house. Rusk's support helped sway Johnson to pass the removal of several voting restrictions in the south and integration.
Dean stirred up some controversy with southern segregationists when his Caucasian daughter married A black man. The Governor of Georgia started a smear campaign against Dean Rusk But ultimately stopped after exhausting the point that Dean let his daughter be taken by mixed black man. By today's standards this happens everyday but back then that kind of interracial relationship was very unpopular and sometimes considered betraying your own race.
I highly recomend checking out Dean Rusks wikipedia page here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_Rusk#Portrayal_in_media
there are many foreign affairs he was involved in concerning the Soviet Union and Israel among others but I felt they didn't fit in much with the civil rights focus