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Lucius Dubignon Clay Edit Profile

Army officer , corporation executive.

Lucius Dub Clay was an American army officer, corporation executive. Decorated Distinguished Service Medal with 2 oak leaf clusters, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, many other United States and foreign decorations, honorary degrees and other awards. Trustee Presbyterian Hospital, New York City, Tuskegee Institute; honorary member Business Council, Washington; former Chairman of the Board Free Europe, Inc.


Clay, Lucius Dub was born on April 23, 1897 in Marietta, Georgia, United States. Son of Alexander Stephen and Frances (White) Clay.


Lucius Clay graduated from West Point in 1918.


He held various civil and military engineering posts during the 1920s and 1930s, including teaching at West Point, directing the construction of dams and civilian airports, and by 1942 rising to the position of the youngest brigadier general in the Army. All the while he acquired a reputation for bringing order and operational efficiency out of chaos, and for being an exceptionally hard and disciplined worker, going long hours and refusing to even stop to eat during his workdays.

In 1945 Clay was assigned by Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt to be deputy military governor in Germany under Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Two years later he was elevated to commander in chief of the U.S. forces in Europe and military governor of the U.S. Zone in Germany. During these demanding years, he had to gauge the requirements of food and shelter for a devastated civilian population and, simultaneously, supervise a de-Nazification and de-industrialization program that would harmonize with the postwar recovery of Germany’s neighbours. In 1948–49 his administration was marked by the successful Allied airlift of food and supplies into Berlin during the Soviet blockade of that city.

Following his retirement in May 1949 Clay entered private business and became active in politics as a supporter and adviser of President Eisenhower (1953–61). In 1961 and 1962 Pres. John F. Kennedy asked Clay to serve as his personal representative in Berlin, with the rank of ambassador, to help deal with the critical situation that had developed among the four occupying powers concerning that city’s future status.


  • Other Work

    • Author: Decisions in Germany, 1950. Germany and the Fight for Freedom.


Fellow American Academy Arts and Sciences. Member American Society of Civil Engineers (recipient 1st President’s award 1976. Clubs: Army and Navy, Links, University, Blind Brook, Pinnacle (New York City).


Clay was the father of two sons, both of whom became Generals. Clay's son, General Lucius D. Clay Jr., held the positions of commander-in-chief of the North American Air Defense Command, the Continental Air Defense Command, and the United States element of NORAD, and was also a commander of the U.S. Air Force Aerospace Defense Command. Clay's other son, Major General Frank B. Clay, served in conflicts from World War II through the Vietnam War, and was an adviser to the US delegation at the Paris peace talks which ended US involvement in the Vietnam War.

Alexander Stephen Clay

Frances (White) Clay

Marjorie McKeown

Lucius D. Clay

Frank B. Commd Clay