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Wilcox Remembers Vandenberg


Photo of Francis O. Wilcox

When the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 authorized the first professional staff for Senate committees, Senators Arthur Vandenberg and Tom Connally jointly appointed Francis Wilcox as the first chief of staff for the Foreign Relations Committee. Wilcox’s service, lasting from 1947 to 1955, coincided with the beginning of the Cold War and the zenith of bipartisan foreign policy. As the committee dealt with such momentous issues as the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, and the formation of NATO, Wilcox developed a close working relationship with Michigan senator Arthur Vandenberg. In his oral history interview, Wilcox discussed Vandenberg as well as the forces and personalities that both facilitated bipartisanship and eventually unraveled it.