54 Facts About Roger Hilsman


Roger Hilsman saw action in the China-Burma-India Theater of World War II, first with Merrill's Marauders, getting wounded in combat, and then as a guerilla leader for the Office of Strategic Services.


Roger Hilsman later became an aide and adviser to President John F Kennedy, and briefly to President Lyndon B Johnson, in the US State Department while he served as Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research in 1961 to 1963 and Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs in 1963 to 1964.


Roger Hilsman left government in 1964 to teach at Columbia University and retired in 1990.


Roger Hilsman wrote many books about American foreign policy and international relations.


Roger Hilsman was a Democratic Party nominee for election to the US House of Representatives in 1972 but lost in the general election.


Roger Hilsman lived in Waco only briefly, growing up on a series of military posts.


Roger Hilsman attended public schools for a while in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


Roger Hilsman spent part of his childhood in the Philippines, where his father was a company commander and later commandant of cadets at Ateneo de Manila, a Jesuit college.


Roger Hilsman's father was a distant figure whom the young Hilsman endeavored to gain the approval of, such as by choosing a military career.


Back in the United States, Roger Hilsman attended Sacramento High School in Sacramento, California, where he was a leader in a Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps program and graduated in 1937.


Roger Hilsman participated in infantry operations during the battle for Myitkyina in May 1944 and suffered multiple stomach wounds from a Japanese machine gun while on a reconnaissance patrol.


Roger Hilsman then volunteered to be put in command of a guerrilla warfare battalion, organized and supplied by OSS Detachment 101, of some 300 local partisans, mercenaries, and irregulars of varying ethnicities, operating behind the lines of the Japanese in Burma.


In one particular engagement in May 1945, Roger Hilsman led a mixed company of Kachins, Burmese, and Karens in staging successful raids in the area between Lawksawk and Taunggyi that culminated in a carefully-orchestrated ambush that caused a hundred casualties among the Japanese at no cost to the guerillas.


Roger Hilsman wanted to deploy his unit farther south into the Inle Lake area but was constrained by orders to help hold the road between Taunggyi and Kengtung.


Roger Hilsman specialized in international relations and he studied under noted professors Arnold Wolfers and William T R Fox.


Roger Hilsman worked on planning for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe with the Joint American Military Advance Group in London in 1950 to 1952 and as part of the International Policies Division of the United States European Command in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1952 to 1953.


Roger Hilsman turned to academia and became a research associate and lecturer in international politics at the Center of International Studies at Princeton University from 1953 to 1956 and a part-time lecturer and research associate at the Washington Center of Foreign Policy Research, which was affiliated with the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, from 1957 to 1961.


Roger Hilsman was a Rockefeller Fellow and a lecturer on international relations at Columbia University in 1958.


Roger Hilsman was the chief of the foreign affairs division of the Congressional Research Service within the Library of Congress in 1956 to 1958 and then deputy director for research for them in 1958 to 1961.


In line with this, Roger Hilsman was selected to be the Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research for the US Department of State, assuming the position in February 1961.


Roger Hilsman's duty was to analyze foreign events and trends as part of the department's long-range planning.


Roger Hilsman soon became a key planner within the administration's foreign policy circles.


Roger Hilsman was particularly effective at talking to members of the US Congress because that military background and war record appealed to hardliners and his academic history and intellectual leanings appealed to those more of that bent.


Roger Hilsman was involved for more than two months in the US responses to Soviet actions during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, including developing informal communications with Soviet officials and the briefing of congressional leaders.


Roger Hilsman was involved in the State Department's analysis of the Sino-Soviet split and the possible conditions for future warming in Sino-American relations.


In March 1963, the White House announced that Roger Hilsman would become Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs, replacing Averell Harriman.


Roger Hilsman had risen quickly in the government bureaucracy, partly because Kennedy liked his willingness to challenge the military.


Doubts grew further about Diem, and within the Kennedy administration Roger Hilsman became the most outspoken proponent of a coup against Diem.


Roger Hilsman was one of the academics and intellectuals in the administration who were later grouped by the author David Halberstam in his book as The Best and the Brightest for the misguided foreign policy that they crafted and its disastrous consequences.


Kennedy as Roger Hilsman's protector was gone, and Johnson determined that he wanted Roger Hilsman out.


Roger Hilsman's stance lost out within the administration to those who advocated the virtues of air power.


Roger Hilsman was replaced at the Bureau of Far Eastern Affairs by William Bundy.


Roger Hilsman became a professor at Columbia University in 1964, joining the Department of Public Law and Government within its School of International Affairs.


Indeed, Roger Hilsman became known as one of the expansive "Kennedy network", and his office at Columbia was adorned with Kennedy-era momentos.


Roger Hilsman became part of the university's Institute of War and Peace Studies, where his former professor William T R Fox was director.


Roger Hilsman became one of the longest-serving professors in the institute.


Roger Hilsman regularly lectured at the various US war colleges.


Roger Hilsman lived in Morningside Heights, Manhattan, but he and his family became longtime residents of the Hamburg Cove area of Lyme, Connecticut, for weekends and summers.


Roger Hilsman was one of the institute's most prolific book authors.


Roger Hilsman continued to speak publicly, in print and on television, regarding what he thought should be done in Vietnam, such as in August 1964, when he warned against over-militarizing the conflict, and in mid-1967, when he said the war was not politically "winnable" and that the US should scale down its military involvement and stop the ongoing bombing campaign against the North.


Roger Hilsman consistently maintained that had Kennedy lived, he would not have escalated the war the way Johnson did.


Roger Hilsman was an ardent supporter of Robert Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign, serving as one of the expert advisors.


Roger Hilsman was part of a large "brain trust" of advisers to Kennedy during the crucial Democratic California primary in June 1968; that ended with another Kennedy assassination.


Roger Hilsman later tried his own hand at electoral politics: In the 1972 Congressional elections, he ran for election to the United States House of Representatives as the Democratic Party nominee for Connecticut's 2nd congressional district.


Roger Hilsman secured the Democratic nomination in a race where few Democrats wanted to run or thought the party had much of a chance of winning.


Roger Hilsman campaigned on domestic issues as well as those of foreign policy, presenting a five-point plan for increasing employment in eastern Connecticut.


Roger Hilsman predicted his chances of winning were directly linked to Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern's performance in the state against Richard Nixon, the incumbent whom Hilsman termed a threat to civil liberties.


McGovern lost in a landslide, and Hilsman lost the congressional general election to the Republican incumbent, Robert H Steele, by a wide margin.


Roger Hilsman retired from Columbia in 1990 upon reaching the then-mandatory retirement age of 70.


Roger Hilsman remained active in local politics, where he was a member of the Democratic Town Committee in Lyme for over two decades.


Roger Hilsman continued to publish books on a variety of subjects into his eighties.


Roger Hilsman died at the age of 94 on February 23,2014, at his home in Ithaca due to complications from several strokes.


Roger Hilsman was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on August 28,2014, with full honors.


Roger Hilsman wrote a number books about 20th century American foreign policy as well as a few on other topics.