Cyrus Roberts Vance

CYRUS ROBERTS VANCE was born in Clarksburg, West Virginia, on 27 March 1917; attended the Kent School in Connecticut; graduated from Yale University in 1939 and received his law degree there in 1942; enlisted in the U.S. Navy V–7 program as a midshipman, 1942, and graduated as an ensign in the Naval Reserve; became an instructor in naval ordnance at Prairie State Midshipman’s School, New York City, 1942–1943; served on destroyers in the Atlantic and Pacific regions, 1943–1946, completing duty as a lieutenant; became assistant to the president of the Mead Corporation, 1946–1947; married Grace Elsie Sloan, 1947; entered the practice of law with the New York firm of Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett, 1947, and became a partner in 1956; was special counsel to the Preparedness Investigating Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee, 1957–1960, and consulting counsel to the Special Committee on Space and Astronautics, 1958; was general counsel of the Department of Defense, 1961–1962; served as Secretary of the Army, 5 July 1962–21 January 1964; under his direction the major reorganization of 1962 was implemented, the Army went on alert during the Cuban crisis, the Reserve Components were realigned, and the Army provided troops in support of civil authorities during the integration of universities in Mississippi and Alabama; served as Deputy Secretary of Defense, 1964–1967; was special representative of the President of the United States to Cyprus, 1967, and to Korea, 1968; was chief U.S. negotiator at the Paris Peace Conference on Vietnam, 1968–1969; was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1969; returned to the practice of law in New York City; served as Secretary of State, 1977–1980; resumed the practice of law with the firm of Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett; became chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in 1989 and cochairman of the Financial Services Volunteer Corps, a Department of State/Agency for International Development project, in 1990.

The Artist

George Augusta (1922– ) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and became interested in painting while serving with the United States Army’s signal intelligence service in Italy in World War II. He took advantage of his situation to study art in Florence, Italy, then returned to Boston to study privately with Ernest Lee Major from 1946 until the latter’s death in 1950. In addition to his portrait of Secretary Vance, Augusta also painted Secretaries Resor and Callaway for the gallery.


Portrait, Cyrus Roberts Vance

Kennedy and L. Johnson Administrations
By George Augusta
Oil on canvas, 41½" x 33½", 1970

page created 12 March 2001

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