Lawrence Eagleburger
Overview
 
Lawrence Sidney Eagleburger (August 1, 1930 – June 4, 2011) was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 statesman
Statesman
A statesman is usually a politician or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career in politics or government at the national and international level. As a term of respect, it is usually left to supporters or commentators to use the term...

 and former career diplomat
Diplomat
A diplomat is a person appointed by a state to conduct diplomacy with another state or international organization. The main functions of diplomats revolve around the representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state, as well as the promotion of information and...

, who served briefly as the United States Secretary of State
United States Secretary of State
The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

 under President George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

. Previously, he had served in lesser capacities under Presidents Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

, Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

, Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

, and George H. W. Bush. Eagleburger is the only career Foreign Service Officer
Foreign Service Officer
A Foreign Service Officer is a commissioned member of the United States Foreign Service. As diplomats, Foreign Service Officers formulate and implement the foreign policy of the United States. FSOs spend most of their careers overseas as members of U.S. embassies, consulates, and other diplomatic...

 to have served as the United States Secretary of State.
Eagleburger was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

, the son of Helen (née Van Ornum), an elementary school teacher, and Leon Sidney Eagleburger, a physician.
Quotations

I think Scowcroft has done us all a great favor by his article saying don't do it. My own personal view is that basically General Scowcroft is correct. Unless the president can make a very compelling case that Saddam Hussein has his finger on a weapon of mass destruction and is about ready to use it, I do not think that now is the time to go to war against Saddam Hussein.

Fox News, 16 August 2002, cited in

Encyclopedia
Lawrence Sidney Eagleburger (August 1, 1930 – June 4, 2011) was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 statesman
Statesman
A statesman is usually a politician or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career in politics or government at the national and international level. As a term of respect, it is usually left to supporters or commentators to use the term...

 and former career diplomat
Diplomat
A diplomat is a person appointed by a state to conduct diplomacy with another state or international organization. The main functions of diplomats revolve around the representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state, as well as the promotion of information and...

, who served briefly as the United States Secretary of State
United States Secretary of State
The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

 under President George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

. Previously, he had served in lesser capacities under Presidents Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

, Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

, Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

, and George H. W. Bush. Eagleburger is the only career Foreign Service Officer
Foreign Service Officer
A Foreign Service Officer is a commissioned member of the United States Foreign Service. As diplomats, Foreign Service Officers formulate and implement the foreign policy of the United States. FSOs spend most of their careers overseas as members of U.S. embassies, consulates, and other diplomatic...

 to have served as the United States Secretary of State.

Education and personal life

Eagleburger was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

, the son of Helen (née Van Ornum), an elementary school teacher, and Leon Sidney Eagleburger, a physician. He graduated from P J Jacobs High School in Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Stevens Point is the county seat of Portage County, Wisconsin, United States. Located in the central part of the state, it is the largest city in the county, with a population of 24,551 at the 2000 census...

, then attended Stevens Point State College (now the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point
University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point
The University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point is a public university located in Stevens Point, Wisconsin...

), before earning his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Wisconsin–Madison
University of Wisconsin–Madison
The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public research university located in Madison, Wisconsin, United States. Founded in 1848, UW–Madison is the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. It became a land-grant institution in 1866...

. During his time at Wisconsin, he joined Alpha Sigma Phi
Alpha Sigma Phi
Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity is a social fraternity with 71 active chapters and 9 colonies. Founded at Yale in 1845, it is the 10th oldest fraternity in the United States....

 Fraternity. On May 6, 1995, he delivered the commencement address to the 1995 graduating class of James Madison University
James Madison University
James Madison University is a public coeducational research university located in Harrisonburg, Virginia, U.S. Founded in 1908 as the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg, the university has undergone four name changes before settling with James Madison University...

.

He was formerly a member of the Board of Visitors at the College of William and Mary
College of William and Mary
The College of William & Mary in Virginia is a public research university located in Williamsburg, Virginia, United States...

.

Eagleburger also served in the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 (1952–1954), attaining the rank of First Lieutenant
First Lieutenant
First lieutenant is a military rank and, in some forces, an appointment.The rank of lieutenant has different meanings in different military formations , but the majority of cases it is common for it to be sub-divided into a senior and junior rank...

.

He had three sons, all of whom are named Lawrence Eagleburger, though they have different middle names. The eldest is from his first marriage, which ended in divorce. The other two are from his second marriage, which was to Marlene Heinemann from 1966 until her death in 2010.

Governmental career

In 1957, Eagleburger joined the United States Foreign Service
United States Foreign Service
The United States Foreign Service is a component of the United States federal government under the aegis of the United States Department of State. It consists of approximately 11,500 professionals carrying out the foreign policy of the United States and aiding U.S...

, and served in various posts in embassies, consulates, and the Department of State
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

. From 1961 to 1965 he served as a staffer at the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

, Yugoslavia
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the Yugoslav state that existed from the abolition of the Yugoslav monarchy until it was dissolved in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. It was a socialist state and a federation made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,...

.

Starting in 1969, he served in the Nixon administration as an assistant to National Security Advisor
National Security Advisor (United States)
The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, commonly referred to as the National Security Advisor , serves as the chief advisor to the President of the United States on national security issues...

 Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger
Heinz Alfred "Henry" Kissinger is a German-born American academic, political scientist, diplomat, and businessman. He is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and...

. He stayed in this appointment until 1971; thereafter he took on several positions, including advisor to the U.S. Mission to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

, and, following Kissinger's appointment as Secretary of State
United States Secretary of State
The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

, a number of additional posts in the State Department.

Following Nixon's resignation, he briefly left government service, but was soon appointed as ambassador to Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

 by President Jimmy Carter, a post he held from 1977 to 1980.

In 1982, Reagan appointed him as Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs (the State Department's third-ranking position), a position he held for several years. In 1989, President George H. W. Bush appointed him Deputy Secretary of State
United States Deputy Secretary of State
The Deputy Secretary of State of the United States is the chief assistant to the Secretary of State. If the Secretary of State resigns or dies, the Deputy Secretary of State becomes Acting Secretary of State until the President nominates and the Senate confirms a replacement. The position was...

 (the Department's second-ranking position); he also served as the President's primary advisor for affairs relating to the quickly disintegrating Yugoslavia. On August 23, 1992, James A. Baker resigned as Secretary of State (to head up Bush's unsuccessful re-election campaign), and Eagleburger served as Acting Secretary of State until Bush gave him a recess appointment
Recess appointment
A recess appointment is the appointment, by the President of the United States, of a senior federal official while the U.S. Senate is in recess. The U.S. Constitution requires that the most senior federal officers must be confirmed by the Senate before assuming office, but while the Senate is in...

 for the remainder of the Bush administration.

His period as advisor for Yugoslavian affairs from 1989 to 1992 was highly controversial. He gained a reputation for being a strong Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

n partisan, most controversially denying that Serbian paramilitaries and the Yugoslav National Army had committed atrocities in the breakaway republic of Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

. This perceived partisanship led the European press to dub him Lawrence of Serbia (a reference to Lawrence of Arabia).

In 1991, President Bush awarded him the Presidential Citizens Medal
Presidential Citizens Medal
The Presidential Citizens Medal is the second highest civilian award in the United States, second only to the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It is awarded by the President of the United States, and may be given posthumously....

. He was a member of the board of directors of the International Republican Institute
International Republican Institute
Founded in 1983, the International Republican Institute is an organization, funded by the United States government, that conducts international political programs, sometimes labeled 'democratization programs'....

.

International Commission on Holocaust-Era Insurance Claims

Eagleburger became chairman of the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims
International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims
The International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims was established by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in August 1998 to identify, settle, and pay individual Holocaust era insurance claims at no cost to claimants....

, or ICHEIC, which was set up in 1998. The purpose of the Commission was to resolve unpaid Nazi-era insurance
Insurance
In law and economics, insurance is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss. Insurance is defined as the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another, in exchange for payment. An insurer is a company selling the...

 claims for survivors of the Holocaust. In 2005, Eagleburger announced that the ICHEIC was offering approximately 16 million dollars to Holocaust victims and their heirs, noting as he did so the research ability of the ICHEIC staff which allowed them to evaluate claims from companies which no longer existed. In the years prior to this there had been some controversy about the Commission, including reports that it was over-budgeted and too slow, and that insurance companies which had previously agreed to work with the ICHEIC had failed to disclose policyholder lists. Eagleburger responded to these accusations by saying, among other things, that it was difficult to work quickly when many of the claimants lacked basic information such as the name of the insurance company involved.

Stance on Middle Eastern conflict

After serving in the Foreign Service
United States Foreign Service
The United States Foreign Service is a component of the United States federal government under the aegis of the United States Department of State. It consists of approximately 11,500 professionals carrying out the foreign policy of the United States and aiding U.S...

 for 27 years, Eagleburger retained an interest in foreign policy and was a familiar figure on current events talk shows. He caused some discussion with public comments about President George W. Bush's foreign policy. In August 2002, Eagleburger questioned the timing of possible military action in Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, saying, "I am not at all convinced now that this is something we have to do this very moment." He did indicate he believed that Iraqi regime change could be a legitimate U.S. endeavor at some point, but that at that time he did not believe the administration was fully prepared for such a conflict. In April 2003, following warnings by the Bush administration to the government of Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, Eagleburger condemned the possibility of military action in Syria or Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, saying that public opinion would not support such a move and that "If President Bush were to try it now, even I would feel he should be skinned alive."

On January 5, 2006, he participated in a meeting at the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

 of former Secretaries of Defense and State to discuss United States foreign policy with Bush administration officials. On November 10, 2006 it was announced that he would replace Secretary of Defense
United States Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Defense is the head and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in other countries...

 designate Robert Gates
Robert Gates
Dr. Robert Michael Gates is a retired civil servant and university president who served as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. Prior to this, Gates served for 26 years in the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, and under President George H. W....

 in the Iraq Study Group
Iraq Study Group
The Iraq Study group , was a ten-person bipartisan panel appointed on March 15, 2006, by the United States Congress, that was charged with assessing the situation in Iraq and the US-led Iraq War and making policy recommendations...

.

After the election of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Eagleburger seemed to think that Iran was moving in a direction which may at some point call for military action, saying in an interview that while "we should try everything else we can first," at some point it would probably be necessary to use force to ensure that Iran did not obtain or use nuclear weapons.

He was Chairman of the Board of Trustees for The Forum for International Policy
The Forum for International Policy
The Forum for International Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan "brain trust" of nationally recognized foreign policy experts.900 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006-Board of trustees:*Dwayne Andreas*David L. Boren*John M. Deutch...

, and a member of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Washington Institute for Near East Policy
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy is a think tank based in Washington, D.C. focused on United States foreign policy in the Middle East. It was established by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in 1985...

 (WINEP) Board of Advisors.

2008 Presidential election

Before Republican primaries, Eagleburger endorsed John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

 for President. In an NPR
NPR
NPR, formerly National Public Radio, is a privately and publicly funded non-profit membership media organization that serves as a national syndicator to a network of 900 public radio stations in the United States. NPR was created in 1970, following congressional passage of the Public Broadcasting...

 interview on October 30, 2008, he described McCain's running-mate Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin
Sarah Louise Palin is an American politician, commentator and author. As the Republican Party nominee for Vice President in the 2008 presidential election, she was the first Alaskan on the national ticket of a major party and first Republican woman nominated for the vice-presidency.She was...

 as "not prepared" for top office. He also stated that many Vice Presidents have not been ready. The next day, in an interview on Fox News, he retracted his comments about Palin.

On October 30, 2008, on the Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel , often called Fox News, is a cable and satellite television news channel owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of News Corporation...

, Eagleburger referred to Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 as a "charlatan
Charlatan
A charlatan is a person practicing quackery or some similar confidence trick in order to obtain money, fame or other advantages via some form of pretense or deception....

", citing his fundraising methods and other aspects of his presidential campaign.

Death

Eagleburger died of pneumonia at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, Virginia. He was 80 and had lived outside Charlottesville since 1990. He is survived by his three sons.

Sources


External links

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