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George F. Kennan
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    (February 16, 1904-March 17, 2005)
    Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    Director of Policy Planning at the US State Department (1947-49)
    US ambassador to the Soviet Union (1952) and Yugoslavia (1961-63)
    Wrote the books 'American Diplomacy 1900-1950' (1951), 'Realities of American Foreign Policy' (1954), 'Russia Leaves the War' (1956), 'Russia, the Atom and the West' (1958), 'Russia and the West under Lenin and Stalin' (1961), 'Memoirs 1925-1950' (1967), 'Memoirs 1950-63' (1972), 'The Cloud of Danger: Current Realities of American Foreign Policy' (1978), 'The Nuclear Delusion: Soviet-American Relations in the Atomic Age' (1982), 'Sketches from a Life' (1993) and 'At Century's Ending: Reflections 1982-1995' (1996)
    Considered the 'father' of the US Cold War policy of containment
    Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1989)
    He ended up opposing a lot of decisions made as part of containment, including establishing NATO, rearming West Germany, stationing US soldiers in Japan and building the hydrogen bomb.
    He said, 'I would like to see our government gradually withdraw from its public advocacy of democracy and human rights.'
    He said that the effect of US Cold War policies was 'to delay rather than hasten the great change that overtook the Soviet Union.'
    He called expanding NATO to include former Soviet satellites a 'strategic blunder of potentially epic proportions.'
    He spoke seven languages: English, German, French, Polish, Czech, Portuguese and Norwegian.
    He and his wife Annelise were married for 74 years until his death.
    He was a two-time winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.
    He was one of the chief architects of the Marshall Plan for rebuilding Western Europe.
    Colin Powell called him 'our best tutor' in dealing with foreign policy in the 21st century.

Credit: C. Fishel

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