Henderson, Loy Wesley

(1892-1986)
   Loy Henderson was born in Arkansas. He entered Denver Law School in 1915 but left to serve in the Red Cross during World War I. He remained with the Red Cross in Europe until 1921 when he joined the U.S. Consular Service in 1922. After two years in Ireland, Henderson joined the Eastern European Affairs section of the State Department and in 1927 was posted to Riga, Latvia, and in 1934 he went to Moscow, where, with fellow officers like George F. Kennan and Charles Bohlen, he was able to observe developments in the Soviet Union. Henderson returned to Washington in 1937 and was given responsibility for Eastern European Affairs. He was an expert advisor to U.S. and British diplomats during the Moscow Conference in 1943 but was reassigned to become minister to Iraq. In 1945, he became director of the division for Near Eastern Affairs, and he helped formulate the policies in response to the Soviet threat in Azerbaijan and Turkey and assisted in drafting aspects of the Truman Doctrine. However, in 1948, Henderson objected to the division of Palestine to create the independent state of Israel and was assigned first to Nepal and then as ambassador to India in 1948. His critical view of India’s recognition of the communist People’s Republic of China led to his transfer to Iran in 1951. While there, he assisted with the overthrow of Mohammed Mossadegh and the return of the shah in 1953. Henderson returned to Washington in 1954 and was undersecretary of state until his retirement in 1961.
   See also Cold War; Foreign policy.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

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