AT THE TIME OF THIS HISTORIC LETTER, JOHN F. KENNEDY HAD JUST WON THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AND HAD ALREADY ASKED DEAN RUSK TO BE HIS SECRETARY OF STATE. RUSK, STILL PRESIDENT OF THE ROCKEFELLER FOUNDATION, IS HERE DEMONSTRATING HIS STATESMANSHIP BY CAREFULLY REPLYING TO AN INQUIRY ABOUT THE DISARMAMENT PROBLEM WITH RUSSIA THAT WOULD EVENTUALLY LEAD TO THE CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS. WITHIN WEEKS, ON JANUARY 20, 1961, HE WOULD BEGIN HIS NEW POSITION WITH JFK IN THE WHITE HOUSE AND ASSUME DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS TO RESOLVE ISSUES BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE UNITED STATES.
David Dean Rusk (1909-94) Historic Typed Letter Signed, "Dean Rusk", 8 x 10.5, on the Rockefeller Foundation Letter Head, December 26, 1960, In Part: "Many thanks for your generous good wishes and for your comments on the disarmament problem. This is, of course, a most urgent question which must command the immediate attention and concern of the new administration. Since I am presently neither a private citizen nor Secretary of State, it is my intention not to discuss policy questions of this kind until after I have assumed office...." The letter comes with a Signed Photo, "Dean Rusk", 4 x 6, b/w, close up portrait and the original Rockefeller Foundation mailing envelope, postmarked Dec 27, 1960. Dean Rusk was the President of the Rockefeller Foundation (1952-60) and the United States Secretary of State from 1961 to 1969 under presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. He had been hired by the United States Department of State in 1945 and became Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs in 1950. 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, though he initially expressed doubts about the escalation of the U.S. role in the Vietnam War, became known as one of its strongest supporters. Rusk served for the duration of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations before retiring from public office in 1969. Rusk is one of the longest serving U.S. Secretaries of State. After leaving office, he taught international relations at the University of Georgia School of Law. All three items are in fine condition, with the usual mailing folds, and two tiny dings to the photo.