David Dean Rusk was the United States Secretary of State from 1961 to 1969 under presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Rusk is one of the longest serving U.S. Secretaries of State, behind only Cordell Hull.
Born in Cherokee County, Georgia, Rusk taught at Mills College after graduating from Davidson College. During World War II, Rusk served as a staff officer in the China Burma India Theater. He was hired by the United States Department of State in 1945 and became Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs in 1950. In 1952, Rusk became president of the Rockefeller Foundation.
After winning the 1960 presidential election, Kennedy asked Rusk to serve as Secretary of State. He supported diplomatic efforts during the Cuban Missile Crisis and expressed doubts about the escalation of the U.S. role in the Vietnam War. Rusk served for the duration of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations before retiring from public office in 1969. After leaving office, he taught international relations at the University of Georgia School of Law.