Allen Welsh Dulles was the first civilian Director of the CIA and its longest-serving director till date.
Dulles was born on April 7, 1893, in Watertown, New York, one of five children of Presbyterian minister Allen Macy Dulles, and his wife, Edith F. (Foster). He was five years younger than his brother John Foster Dulles, Dwight D. Eisenhower's Secretary of State and chairman and senior partner of Sullivan & Cromwell, and two years older than his sister, diplomat Eleanor Lansing Dulles. His maternal grandfather, John W. Foster, was Secretary of State under Benjamin Harrison, while his uncle by marriage, Robert Lansing was Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson. Dulles was uncle to Avery Dulles, a Jesuit priest and cardinal of the Catholic Church, who taught theology at Fordham University from 1988 to 2008.
Dulles graduated from Princeton University, where he participated in the American Whig–Cliosophic Society, and entered the diplomatic service in 1916.
Dulles was appointed to the American Diplomat Service in 1916. It’s claimed that while he was posted at the U.S Embassy at Istanbul, Turkey, Dulles had apparently exposed the infamous document ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’, a text which glorifies the atrocities of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.
Dulles changed career from diplomacy to that of a lawyer in 1926. He pursued a degree in Law from ‘George Washington University Law School’. After finishing his graduation, Dulles took up a job at the firm ‘Sullivan and Cromwell’ based in New York.
Dulles worked as a legal adviser to the delegation of arms limitations associated with the ‘League of Nations’, in the late 1920s. During his tenure, Dulles also interacted with great leaders of the world such as Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.
Dulles was disturbed by the cruelties against Jews in the Nazi dominated Germany, after he made a short visit to the country. He also initiated a movement to request the management of ‘Sullivan and Cromwell’ to shut their concern’s branch in Berlin. The company had no choice but to oblige to this demand.
Dulles was appointed to work with the American intelligence agency named ‘Office of Strategic Services’ at the time of World War-II. Dulles mission was to gather military intelligence from Germany’s war strategies from various anti-Nazi sources in the country.
Dulles was closely associated with the people who planned to assassinate Hitler. In 1944, these individuals also gave Dulles details regarding the ‘V1’ and ‘V2’ missiles which the dictator wanted to use during the war.
The highlight of Dulles career was the year 1950, when he joined the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as the Deputy Director of Plans. The same year he was promoted to the position of Deputy Director of Central Intelligence.
Dulles played a pivotal role in the project ‘Operation Ajax’, where he teamed up with Frank Wisner, the head of the Office of Strategic Services, to plan a coup against the then Iranian President Mohammad Mosaddegh. The leader was overthrown as a result of this effort by the CIA.
Post his CIA tenure, the American President at the time, Lyndon Baines Johnson appointed Allen Dulles to be one of the panel members of the ‘Warren Commission’ in 1963. This team, consisting of seven members, including Dulles, was formed to investigate the death of President John F Kennedy.
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Member President’s Commision on Assassination of President Kennedy, 1963-1964. Trustee Princeton University, 1961. Served during World World War II with O.S.S. Decorations: Medal for Merit, also Medal of Freedom, 1946.
Member Council Foreign Relations (director), Phi Beta Kappa. Clubs: Century Association, Piping Rock (New York City).
In 1920, he married Clover Todd (March 5, 1894 – April 15, 1974). They had three children; two daughters: Clover D. Jebsen, ("Toddy"), and Joan Buresch Dulles Molden, ("Joan Buresch"); and one son, Allen Macy Dulles Jr., who was wounded and permanently disabled in the Korean War and spent the rest of his life in and out of medical care. According to his sister, Eleanor, Dulles had "at least a hundred" extramarital affairs, including some during his tenure with the CIA.