Bohlen, Charles Eustis

   Born in New York, raised in South Carolina, and educated in Massachusetts, Charles Bohlen graduated from Harvard University in 1927 with a specialization in European history. He entered the Foreign Service in 1929 and after serving in Prague and Paris in 1934 was posted to the embassy in Moscow. After a brief return to Washington, D.C., Bohlen was back in Moscow in 1938 and then Tokyo in 1940. He was interned after the attack on Pearl Harbor but returned to the United States in 1942. Bohlen’s experience and knowledge of Russia made him a key adviser on Soviet affairs, and he acted as interpreter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the Tehran Conference, the Yalta Conference, and to President Harry S. Truman at the Potsdam Conference. Bohlen also attended the San Francisco Conference and was an adviser to Secretaries of State James F. Byrnes, George C. Marshall, and Dean Acheson. He was nominated to become ambassador to the Soviet Union (USSR) in 1953 and was approved by the Senate despite criticism from Joseph McCarthy because of his sympathetic attitude toward the USSR. From 1957 to 1959 Bohlen was ambassador to the Philippines, until he became principal adviser to Secretary of State Christian Herter. From 1962 until 1968 he was ambassador to France. He was also an adviser to President John F. Kennedy. Bohlen wrote two books, The Transformation of American Foreign Policy (1969) and Witness to History (1973).

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

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