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Oral History Project

Francis O. Wilcox Chief of Staff, Senate Foreign Relations Committee (1947–1955)

Photo of Francis O. Wilcox

When the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 authorized the first professional staffs of Senate committees, Senators Arthur Vandenberg and Tom Connally jointly appointed Francis Wilcox to become the first chief of staff of the Foreign Relations Committee. His service corresponded with the beginning of the Cold War and the zenith of bipartisan foreign policy. During those years the committee dealt with such momentous issues as the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, and formation of NATO. Wilcox devotes much of his oral history to discussing the forces and personalities that both facilitated bipartisanship and eventually unraveled it.


Scholarly citation: "Francis O. Wilcox, Chief of Staff, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 1947–1955," Oral History Interviews, February 1 to June 13, 1984, Senate Historical Office, Washington, D.C.

Disclaimer: The Senate Historical Office has a strong commitment to oral history as an important part of its efforts to document institutional change over time. Oral histories are a natural component to historical research and enhance the archival holdings of the Senate and its members. Oral histories represent the personal recollections and opinions of the interviewees, however, and should not be considered as the official views or opinions of the U.S. Senate, of the Senate Historical Office, or of other senators and/or staff members. The transcripts of these oral histories are made available by the Senate Historical Office as a public service.