Monday, July 6, 2009

Robert S. McNamara

WASHINGTON – Robert S. McNamara, the cerebral secretary of defense who was vilified for his role in escalating the Vietnam War, a role he later deeply regretted, died Monday. He was 93.

McNamara died at 5:30 a.m. at his home, his wife Diana told The Associated Press. She said he had been in failing health for some time.
McNamara was fundamentally associated with the Vietnam War, "McNamara's war," the country's most disastrous foreign venture, the only American war to end in abject withdrawal rather than victory.

Known as a policymaker with a fixation for statistical analysis, McNamara was recruited to run the Pentagon by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 from the presidency of the Ford Motor Co. — where he and a group of colleagues had been known as the "whiz kids." He stayed in the defense post for seven years, longer than anyone since the job's creation in 1947.
Author of few books, including "In Retrospect- lessons of Vietnam" and "Wilson's Ghost" which are in library.

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