This article is about the former U.S. Secretary of the Army and Secretary of State. For his son, the New York County District Attorney, see Cyrus Vance Jr.
Early life and family
Cyrus Vance was born on March 27, 1917, in Clarksburg, West Virginia
He was the son of John Carl Vance II and his wife Amy Roberts Vance, and had an elder brother, John Carl Vance III.
Following Vance's birth, his family relocated to Bronxville, New York
, so that his father could commute to New York City
, where he was an insurance broker.
Vance's father was also a landowner and worked for a government agency during World War I
He died unexpectedly of pneumonia
Vance's mother was Amy Roberts Vance, who had a prominent family history in Philadelphia
and was active in civic affairs.
Following her husband's death, she moved her family to Switzerland for a year, where Vance and his brother learned French at L'Institut Sillig in Vevey
Vance's much older cousin (referred to as an "uncle" within the family) John W. Davis
, an Ambassador to the United Kingdom
and 1924 United States presidential candidate
, became his mentor and adopted him.
At the age of 29, Vance married Grace Elsie "Gay" Sloane on February 15, 1947. She was a Bryn Mawr College
graduate and was the daughter of the board chairman of the W. & J. Sloane
furniture company in New York City
. They had five children:
- Elsie Nicoll Vance
- Amy Sloane Vance
- Grace Roberts Vance
- Camilla Vance Holmes
- Cyrus R. Vance Jr.
Secretary of State
Vance also pushed for closer ties to the Soviet Union, and clashed frequently with the more hawkish National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski
. Vance tried to advance arms limitations by working on the SALT II
agreement with the Soviet Union, which he saw as the central diplomatic issue of the time, but Brzezinski lobbied for a tougher more assertive policy vis-a-vis the Soviets. He argued for strong condemnation of Soviet activity in Africa and in the Third World as well as successfully lobbying for normalized relations with the People's Republic of China
in 1978. As Brzezinski took control of the negotiations, Vance was marginalized and his influence began to wane. When revolution erupted in Iran in late 1978, the two were divided on how to support the United States' ally the Shah of Iran
. Vance argued in favor of reforms while Brzezinski urged him to crack down – the 'iron fist' approach. Unable to receive a direct course of action from Carter, the mixed messages that the Shah received from Vance and Brzezinski contributed to his confusion and indecision as he fled Iran in January 1979 and his regime collapsed
Vance negotiated the SALT II
agreement directly with Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin
, bypassing American Ambassador Malcolm Toon
, who then criticized the agreement.
In June 1979, President Carter and Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev
signed the treaty in Vienna's Hofburg
Imperial Palace, in front of the international press, but the Senate ultimately did not ratify it.
After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
on December 27, 1979, Vance's opposition to what he had called "visceral anti-Sovietism" led to a rapid reduction of his stature.
His attempt to surreptitiously negotiate a solution to the Iran hostage crisis
with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
through the Palestine Liberation Organization
Believing that diplomatic initiatives could see the hostages safely returned home, Vance initially fought off attempts by Brzezinski to pursue a military solution. Vance, struggling with gout
, went to Florida on Thursday, April 10, 1980, for a long weekend.
On Friday, the National Security Council
held a newly scheduled meeting and authorized Operation Eagle Claw
, a military expedition into Tehran to rescue the hostages.
Deputy Secretary Warren Christopher
, who attended the meeting in Vance's place, did not inform him.
Furious, on April 21
Vance handed in his resignation on principle, calling Brzezinski "evil".
The only Secretaries of State who had previously resigned in protest were Lewis Cass
, who resigned in the buildup to the Civil War, and William Jennings Bryan
, who resigned in the buildup to World War I.
President Carter aborted the operation after only five of the eight helicopters he had sent into the Dasht-e Kavir
desert arrived in operational condition. As U.S. forces prepared to depart from the staging area, a helicopter collided with a transport plane, causing a fire that killed eight servicemen.
Vance's resignation was confirmed several days later, and he was replaced by Senator Edmund Muskie
. A second rescue mission was planned but never carried out, and the diplomatic efforts to negotiate the release of the hostages were handed over to Deputy Secretary Christopher. The hostages were released during the first inauguration of Ronald Reagan
, after 444 days in captivity.
Later career in law and as Special Envoy
In May 1970, Vance was appointed to serve as a commissioner in a landmark panel known as the Knapp Commission
, which was formed and tasked by New York City Mayor John V. Lindsay
with investigating systemic corruption at the New York Police Department
. The Knapp Commission held televised hearings into police corruption and issued a final report of its findings in 1972. The work of the Knapp Commission led to the prosecution of police officers on charges of corruption and culminated in significant, if short-lived, reforms and oversight in respect of the police department, including the appointment of a temporary special prosecutor to investigate and prosecute corruption committed by NYPD officers, district attorneys, and judges.
In January 1993, as the United Nations
Special Envoy to Bosnia, Vance and Lord David Owen
, the EU
representative, began negotiating a peace plan
for the ending the War in Bosnia
. The plan was rejected, and Vance announced his resignation as Special Envoy to the UN Secretary-General. He was replaced by Norwegian Foreign Minister Thorvald Stoltenberg
Later life and death
In 1980, Vance received the U.S. Senator John Heinz Award for Greatest Public Service by an Elected or Appointed Official, an award given out annually by Jefferson Awards
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Marilyn Berger (13 January 2002). "Cyrus R. Vance, a Confidant Of Presidents, Is Dead at 84". The New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
- ^ Bell, William Gardner (1992). "Cyrus Roberts Vance". Secretaries of War and Secretaries of the Army: Portraits and Biographical Sketches. United States Army Center of Military History. Archived from the original on December 14, 2007. Retrieved September 22, 2007.
- ^ a b "Birth Record Detail: Cyrus Roberts Vance". West Virginia Vital Research Records. West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
- ^ "Birth Record Detail: John Carl III Vance". West Virginia Vital Research Records. West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
- ^ a b Mihalkanin 2004, p. 512.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i Bell, William Gardner (1992). ""Cyrus Roberts Vance"". Secretaries of War and Secretaries of the Army: Portraits and Biographical Sketches. United States Army Center of Military History. Archived from the original on December 14, 2007. Retrieved September 22, 2007.
- ^ Harbaugh 1973, pp. 389–390.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i Douglas Brinkley (29 December 2002). "THE LIVES THEY LIVED; Out of the Loop". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
- ^ Goldstein, Richard (2 May 2017). "Malcolm Toon Made Waves as a Diplomat, but His Death Went Largely Unreported". The New York Times. p. B14. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
- ^ Carter, Jimmy (October 1, 1982). Keeping Faith: Memoirs of a President. Bantam Books. p. 513.
- ^ Betty Glad (2009). An Outsider in the White House: Jimmy Carter, His Advisors, and the Making of American Foreign Policy. Cornell University Press. pp. 264–68.
- ^ "Cyrus R. Vance", ChrisWallisBlog.Wordpress.com
- ^ "The Legacy of Cyrus R. Vance". New York City Bar - Vance Center. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
- ^ Khoda Hafez. "A Message from AIC on the Occasion of the New Year". American Iranian Council. Archived from the original on June 14, 2011. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
- ^ Cyrus Vance - Former US secretary of state who served Kennedy, Johnson and Carter died January 12 2002
- ^ "Vance, Grace Sloane". The New York Times (Paid Notice: Deaths). March 26, 2008. Retrieved October 3, 2013.
- ^ "Jefferson Awards Foundation Past Winners". Jefferson Awards Foundation. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
- ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
- ^ Harrison County Historical Society Archived July 3, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Harbaugh, William Henry (1973). Lawyer's Lawyer: The Life of John W. Davis. New York City: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195016994. OCLC 777309.
- McLellan, David S. Cyrus Vance (Rowman & Littlefield. 1985), scholarly biography..
- Mihalkanin, Edward S. (2004). American Statesmen: Secretaries of State from John Jay to Colin Powell. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780313308284. OCLC 57534433.
- Sexton, Mary DuBois. "The wages of principle and power: Cyrus R. Vance and the making of foreign policy in the Carter administration" (PhD. Thesis, Georgetown University, 2009).
- Smith, Gaddis. Morality, Reason, and Power. American Diplomacy in the Carter Years (1986).
- Wallis, Christopher. "The Thinker, The Doer and The Decider Zbigniew Brzezinski, Cyrus Vance and the Bureaucratic Wars of the Carter Administration" (PhD Thesis, Northumbria University 2018).
Talbott, Strobe, Endgame: The Inside Story of Salt II
(New York: Harpercollins, 1979) online
- Vance, Cyrus. Hard Choices: Four Critical Years in Managing America's Foreign Policy (1983) memoir as Secretary of State. online
- “U.S. Foreign Policy: A Discussion with Former Secretaries of State Dean Rusk, William P. Rogers, Cyrus R. Vance, and Alexander M. Haig, Jr.”. International Studies Notes, Vol. 11, No. 1, Special Edition: The Secretaries of State, Fall 1984. JSTOR 44234902 (pp. 10-20)
- Vance, Cyrus R. "The Human Rights Imperative." Foreign Policy 63 (1986): 3-19. online
Last edited on 7 May 2021, at 02:51
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