Eleanor Lansing Dulles was born on June 1, 1895 in Watertown, New York, United States. Daughter of Allen Macy and Edith (Foster) Dulles. Her grandfather, John Watson Foster, served as United States Secretary of State under President Benjamin Harrison for eight months. Her mother's sister married Robert Lansing, Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson. Her oldest brother, John Foster Dulles, was Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Her brother Allen Dulles served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 1953 to 1961. She had two sisters as well. Her nephew Avery Dulles was a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.