22 Facts About Edward Lansdale


Edward Geary Lansdale was a United States Air Force officer until retiring in 1963 as a major general before continuing his work with the Central Intelligence Agency.


Edward Lansdale believed the United States could win guerrilla wars by studying the enemy's psychology, an approach that won the approval of the presidential administrations of both Kennedy and Johnson.


Edward Lansdale was born in Detroit, Michigan, on February 6,1908, and later raised in Los Angeles.


Edward Lansdale was the second of four sons of Sarah Frances Philips and Henry Lansdale.


Edward Lansdale attended school in Michigan, New York and California before attending UCLA where he earned his way largely by writing for newspapers and magazines.


Edward Lansdale later moved on to better-paying work in advertising in Los Angeles and San Francisco.


Edward Lansdale served with the Office of Strategic Services in World War II, ultimately being promoted to major.


Edward Lansdale extended his tour to remain in the Philippines until 1948, helping the Philippine Army rebuild its intelligence services and resolve the cases of large numbers of prisoners of war.


In 1950, President Elpidio Quirino personally requested that Edward Lansdale be transferred to the Joint United States Military Assistance Group, Philippines, to assist the intelligence services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in combating the Communist Hukbalahap.


Edward Lansdale became friends with Ramon Magsaysay, then the secretary of national defense, and with his help Magsaysay eventually became President of the Philippines on December 30,1953.


Edward Lansdale is said to have run Magsaysay's campaign for the CIA in the 1953 Philippines General Election.


Edward Lansdale helped the Philippine Armed Forces develop psychological operations, civic actions, and the rehabilitation of Hukbalahap prisoners.


Edward Lansdale accomplished that by dropping leaflets in the Northern hamlets stating that "Christ has gone to the South" and other leaflets showing maps with concentric circles emanating from Hanoi suggesting an imminent nuclear bomb strike on the Northern capital.


Diem, typically suspicious of anyone not in his immediate family, invited Edward Lansdale to move into the presidential palace after which they became friends.


In October 1954, Edward Lansdale foiled a coup attempt, cutting General Nguyen Van Hinh's communication off from his top lieutenants by moving them to Manila.


Edward Lansdale mentored and trained Pham Xuan An, a reporter for Time magazine who was actually a highly placed North Vietnamese spy.


In 1961, Lansdale recruited John M Deutch to his first job in government, working as one of Robert McNamara's "Whiz Kids".


From 1957 to 1963, Edward Lansdale worked for the Department of Defense in Washington, serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Operations, Staff Member of the President's Committee on Military Assistance, and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations.


Edward Lansdale retired from the Air Force on November 1,1963.


In 1981, Edward Lansdale donated most of his remaining papers to Stanford University's Hoover Institution.


Edward Lansdale died of a heart ailment on February 23,1987.


Edward Lansdale was twice married and had two sons from his first marriage.