Eleanor Lansing Dulles

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Person.png Eleanor Lansing Dulles  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(Academic, Economist, Author)
Eleanor Dulles.webp
BornJune 1, 1895
Watertown, New York
DiedOctober 30, 1996 (Age 101)
Washington DC
Alma materBryn Mawr College, Radcliffe College, Harvard University
SpouseDavid Simon Blondheim
Relatives • John Watson Foster
• Mary Parke Foster
• John Foster Dulles
• Allen Dulles
• Robert Lansing
• Avery Dulles
Sister of the Dulles brothers; heavily involved with the reconstruction effort in Austria and Germany; "the Mother of Berlin"


In office
September 1942 - January 1962
EmployerDepartment of State

Eleanor Lansing Dulles was an American economist who worked for US government agencies since 1936. She was sacked after the Bay of Pigs by the Kennedy Administration.


She was the sister of John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles.

State Department

Eleanor Lansing Dulles and Willy Brandt laid the cornerstone for the Schlachtensee Student Village, Berlin, on October 10, 1957.

In September 1942 she joined the Department of State beginning as an Economic Officer in the Division of Postwar Planning.

During her first three years at the State Department, Dulles was involved in post-war economic planning. She helped determine the U.S. position on international financial cooperation and participated in the Bretton Woods Conference of 1944 at which the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development were established. After the end of World War II, in the spring of 1945 she went to Europe, where she became involved in the reconstruction of the Austrian economy as the U.S. Financial Attaché in Austria.

In 1949, Eleanor transferred to the German Austrian Division at the State Department, where she took an active interest in the affairs of Berlin and became a member of the informal 'Berlin Lobby' in the United States.[1]

She made many trips to Berlin and was involved in planning the construction of the Berlin Medical Center. The Berlin Congress Hall (Haus der Kulturen der Welt), the U.S. contribution to the International Building Exhibition (Internationale Bauausstellung) was nicknamed the Dulleseum (Dulles plus Museum) for the role of Eleanor and her brother John Foster in its financing and construction.[2]

Later, she was hailed as "the Mother of Berlin" for helping to revitalize Berlin's economy and culture during the 1950s.[3]

Forced resignation

Secretary of State Dean Rusk requested her resignation on September 21, 1961, at the insistence of the Kennedy Administration following the April Bay of Pigs Invasion, a foreign relations disaster for the U.S. that her brother Allen had overseen as head of the CIA.[4] She resigned in January 1962.[5]

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  1. Andreas Daum, Kennedy in Berlin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008, ISBN 978-0-521-85824-3, pp. 24, 42, 50, 66, 69.
  2. https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1957/09/13/102280665.pdf
  3. https://www.nytimes.com/1996/11/04/world/eleanor-l-dulles-of-state-dept-dies-at-101.html
  4. Eleanor Dulles, Eleanor Lansing Dulles: Chances of a Lifetime, A Memoir, 1980, Prentice-Hall, page 305
  5. https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1962/01/07/96032321.pdf