Robert Bacon

Robert Bacon

Infobox US Cabinet official
name=Robert Bacon

title=United States Assistant Secretary of State
term_start=September 5, 1905
term_end=January 27, 1909
predecessor=Francis B. Loomis
successor=John Callan O'Laughlin
title2=United States Secretary of State
term_start2=January 27, 1909
term_end2=March 5, 1909
predecessor2=Elihu Root
successor2=Philander C. Knox
birth_date=birth date|1860|7|5|mf=y
birth_place=Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, U.S.
death_date=death date and age|1919|05|29|1860|07|05
death_place=New York City, New York, U.S.
spouse=Martha Waldron Cowdin

Robert Bacon (July 5, 1860 – May 29, 1919) was an American statesman and diplomat. He served as United States Secretary of State from January to March 1909.

Born in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, to William Benjamin Bacon and Emily Crosby Low, he was graduate of Harvard University, where he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon. He was married on October 10, 1883 to Martha Waldron Cowdin. They had four children: Robert Low Bacon, Gaspar Griswold Bacon, Elliot Cowdin Bacon, and Martha B. Bacon (Mrs. George Whitney). Their son Robert was a United States Congressman and Gaspar was the President of the Massachusetts Senate from 1929-32 and Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts from 1933-1935.

He worked in the business world, including partnership with J.P. Morgan & Co. for many years starting in 1894. He acted as J.P. Morgan's chief lieutenant and participated in the formation of the U.S. Steel Corporation and the Northern Securities Company. The pressure of the job shot his nerves, and he left the company in 1903.

He was named Assistant Secretary of State in 1905, a position which held until 1909— he was acting Secretary of State while Elihu Root was in South America in 1906. He was U.S. Secretary of State in President Theodore Roosevelt (a friend from Harvard)'s Cabinet from January 27, 1909 and served until March 5, 1909. As Secretary of State, obtained the advice and consent of the Senate for the Canal treaties of 1909 with Colombia and Panama. He served as United States Ambassador to France from 1909 until 1912 and worked for John J. Pershing during the term of American involvement in World War I.

He became a Fellow of Harvard in 1912. In August 1914 he went to France to help with the work of the American Ambulance. His book "For Better Relations with Our Latin American Neighbors" was published in 1915. He was then commissioned a major and detailed to General Pershing's staff in 1917, promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1918 and served as Chief of the American Military Mission at British General Headquarters.

Bacon died in 1919; cause said to be from development of blood poisoning in the neck after undergoing surgery on his mastoiditis. [New York Times, 1919 ( (accessed electronically 11 July 2008)]


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