William Macomber

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Person.png William Macomber  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(spook, diplomat, deep state actor?)
William Butts Macomber Jr.png
BornMarch 28, 1921
Rochester, New York State
DiedNovember 19, 2003 (Age 82)
Alma materPhillips Academy, Yale University, University of Chicago, Harvard University
Member ofOffice of Strategic Services
Interest ofNancy Walker Bush Ellis
US spook and diplomat.

Employment.png US/Ambassador to Turkey

In office
May 16, 1973 - June 15, 1977
Appointed byRichard Nixon

Employment.png US/Ambassador to Jordan

In office
5 April 1961 - December 25, 1963

Employment.png Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs

In office
October 21, 1957 - February 27, 1961

William Butts Macomber Jr. was a US spook and diplomat. In World War II, he worked for the OSS, [1] before having a career of intelligence related diplomatic jobs.

Macomber of the US State department is mentioned in the 1975 WUBRINY Memo that revealed that George H. W. Bush's involvement with the CIA.

Early life and education

Macomber was born in Rochester, New York, on March 28, 1921. He attended Phillips Academy, graduating in 1940, and Yale University, graduating in 1943.[2]

During World War II, he was in the United States Marine Corps, assigned to the Office of Strategic Services. He parachuted into France to work with the French underground twice. He later worked in Burma. His Marine Corps tour ended in 1946.

After the war, he returned to Yale, receiving a master's degree in 1947. He next attended Harvard Law School, receiving his law degree in 1949. He then worked at Boston University as a lecturer in government, then moved on to the University of Chicago, receiving a second master's degree in 1951.[2]


Macomber worked in the U.S. Government for decades, serving under five presidents. His positions were unstable, however, because he was always a political appointee and not a career Foreign Service officer.[3]

Macomber joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1951. Two years later, he moved to the United States Department of State as a special assistant of intelligence. In 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower nominated Macomber as assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs and worked until February 27, 1961.[4]

President John F. Kennedy then named Macomber as United States ambassador to Jordan and Macomber held this post from April 5, 1961, until December 25, 1963.[4] In 1964, he became assistant administrator of the United States Agency for International Development.[2]

Macomber returned to the office of assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs after he was named to the office by President Lyndon B. Johnson, and Macomber worked in this office from March 7, 1967, through October 2, 1969.[4]

Richard Nixon appointed Macomber deputy under secretary of state for management on September 26, 1969, and he worked in this role from October 3, 1969, to April 4, 1973.[4]

President Richard Nixon appointed him United States ambassador to Turkey on March 27, 1973. He presented his credentials on May 16, 1973, and worked until he left his post on June 15, 1977.[4] In 1975, he published a book, The Angels' Game: A Handbook of Modern Diplomacy. He retired from the United States Foreign Service in 1977.[4]

Post-government life

In 1978, Macomber became the first full-time president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which ties him to the Rockefeller family. As president, he oversaw implementation of the MMA's master plan developed under his predecessor C. Douglas Dillon.[3] He retired in 1986 due to the Met's mandatory retirement age of 65.[5] In 1983, he was among the founders of the American Academy of Diplomacy.[6]

He was also a trustee emeritus at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and on the board of overseers at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace.

Personal life

Macomber was married to the Boston native and Simmons College graduate, Phyllis Dorothy Bernau (1924–2014) in 1964. They lived in a Fifth Avenue apartment and had a summer home in Nantucket, Massachusetts.[2]

Macomber died of complications related to Parkinson's disease at his home in Nantucket, on November 19, 2003.[2][7]

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