- Clay, Lucius Dubignon
- (1898-1978)Born in Marietta, Georgia, Lucius Clay graduated from West Point in 1918 and was commissioned in the Engineers Corps. In the interwar years, he served at a number of schools and colleges and in the Rivers and Harbors Section of the Office of the Chief of Engineers. As the Chief of Engineers spokesman to congress, Clay assisted with several programs in the Works Progress Administration. From 1937 to 1938 he was chief of staff for General Douglas MacArthur in the Philippines. After returning to the United States, he was assistant administrator with the Civil Aeronautic Authority and was responsible for improving and building airfields for military uses. He held a number of wartime posts involving production and procurement of military supplies and in 1944 took command of supplying the Allied forces in Normandy. At the end of the year, he became aide to James F. Byrnes in the Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion before returning to Europe to assist in the military occupation of Germany. Clay was appointed deputy military governor of the American zone from 1945 to 1947 and military governor from 1947 to 1949. He advocated an element of German reconstruction prior to payment of reparations to the Soviet Union and in May 1946 broke off negotiations concerning reparations from the American zone. Clay also worked to unite the British and American zones with a common economic policy in the Bizone on 1 January 1947. Following the French entry into the agreement and the establishment of a common currency in January 1948, the Soviets imposed the Berlin blockade. Clay proposed smashing the blockade by force but was overruled by President Harry S. Truman. Instead, Clay directed the Berlin Airlift that eventually helped bring about the lifting of the blockade. He returned home to the United States and received a ticker-tape welcome in New York City. After his retirement in 1950, Clay was chair of the Continental Can Company until 1962 and a senior partner in Lehman Brothers investment bankers from 1963 to 1973. He also acted as a special advisor in Berlin from 1961 to 1962 following the construction of the Berlin Wall.
Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . Neil A. Wynn . 2015.