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Grant number: FZ-231645-15

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FZ-231645-15

Phillips Payson O'Brien
University of Glasgow (Glasgow G12 8QQ United Kingdom)

The Second Most Powerful Man in the World: Adm. William D. Leahy (1875-1959), Statecraft and the Shaping of the Modern World

A biography of the first chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the only person in U.S. history to hold the job of Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, serving both Roosevelt and Truman from 1942 to 1949.

This project will result in a much-needed biographical and political study of the second most powerful man in American strategic decision-making between 1942 and 1949, Admiral William D. Leahy. He was the first chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the only person in US history to hold the job of Chief of staff to the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy. Leahy’s unique place in the American decision making structure is worthy of a new detailed study. Leahy was the only individual to serve continuously during this remarkable seven year period, advising Presidents Roosevelt and Truman on the most sensitive and important international (and at times national) policy matters while serving as the single most important conduit of information between the White House, the armed services, the State Department and the intelligence agencies. He provides an excellent example of the difference between real and perceived power.

Project fields:
History, General

Program:
Public Scholar Program

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2016 – 8/31/2017