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McNamara, Robert

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 3 months ago









 June 9, 1916-???



Personal Information


Robert Strange McNamara was born in San Francisco on June 9, 1916.  His father Robert James McNamara, was a sales manager for a wholesale shoe company and his mother was Clara Nell Strange.  He attended public schools in Piedmont, California and his success continued from his straight A's in Piedmont High school to University of Carlifornia, Berkeley where he was admitted into Phi Beta Kappa.  In 1937 McNamara was admitted into Harvard University's Graduate School of Business Administration and was awarded with his M.B.A two years later. McNamara married Margaret Craig, in 1940 and had two daughters and a son.  By 1943 He went to serve in the Army Air Forces around the world and was awarded with the Legion of Merit.  



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In 1946 McNamara joined Ford Motor Company as manager of planning and financial analysis. He became the first Ford compand head selected outside the Ford Family and received significant credit for Ford's expansion and success in the postwar period.  McNamara accepted Kennedy's invitation to join his cabinet in less than five weeks of being president of Ford.



Historical/Political Impact on American History






Robert McNamara became Secretary of Defense on January 21, 1961.  He served under both John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.  While in office he created the Office of Management Planning and Organization Studies and installed a planning-programming-budgeting systemMcMamara's goal as Secretary of Defense was in his own words “to bring efficiency to a $40 billion enterprise beset by jealousies and political pressures while maintaining American military superiority.” During McNamara's years as Secretary ofDefense, he was majorly known for his involvement in the Vietnam War.  He openly supported President Johnson's decisions to send an increasing number of troops to Vietnam in 1965 and also supported a massive bombing campaign all openly in the public eye. In November 1965, after a trip to Saigon, McNamara began to have doubts about the Vietnam war.  He began to become discontented with the direction of the Vietnam war and decided to resign in 1968. After his resignation he became the president of the World Bank.


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Lasting Impact


Robert S. McNamara served as president of the World Bank for 13 years.  From 1968 to 1981, which were the years McNamara was president, the world bank became the world's largest and most important single source of international development assistance.  During his presidency the world bank went from lending $1 million dollars a day to $12 billion dollars by the end of his presidency. The RSM (Robert S. McNamara) Fellowships Program was created in his honor.  McNamara also achieved other things during his years as secretary of defense.  He created the Defense Intelligence Agency and  Defense Supply Agency.





Relation to Specific President


Robert McNamara was the secretary of defense for John F. Kennedy and was also secretary of defense for Lyndon B. Johnson. Kennedy first offered the post of secretary of defense to former secretary Robert A. Lovett but Lovett declined and recommended McNamara.  After Kennedy's death Johnson retained him until McNamara's resignation. 


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Relation to Others on list


 Although Robert S. McNamara was a respectful citizen who followed the laws, his brothers were not so straight lined. John and James McNamara were charged for bombing the Los Angeles Times in 1911, six years before the birth of Robert. They were defended by Clarence Darrow.






Back to List of Prominent Individuals




Questions Page created by:  (Oluwaseminiyanu A.)

Avon High School, Avon, Indiana

Date created: March 20, 2008





Comments (7)

Anonymous said

at 8:59 pm on Mar 23, 2008

Semi, Great organization. I really like the look of this page already. Also, great start on your information. I see many places where you can add links.

Anonymous said

at 7:18 am on Apr 7, 2008

Your links were very informative. The information was very organized at the beginning, but towards the end it became a little confusing. Maybe you should try to find out more about McNamara's death. However, it was a good wiki overall!

Anonymous said

at 7:25 am on Apr 7, 2008

Very nice wiki, plenty of information and pictures, especially at the beginning. However, I found the picture of Robert and Kennedy to be a little large and overbearing. Overall, a great wiki though.

Anonymous said

at 7:28 am on Apr 7, 2008

This page had a really good flow because it was very well organized. The page led you through his life as well as giving his important impact on US History. I like your use of links, but for some of the link topics it might have been better to link to a new wiki page and summarize the topic as it relates to McNamara.

Anonymous said

at 7:25 am on Apr 10, 2008

You did good on your wiki, I like how every thing flows and the page is not boring. You have good links and good pictures.

Anonymous said

at 7:30 am on Apr 11, 2008

The information on this page was very interesting. I did not know that McNamara worked at the Ford Motor Company befor becoming Secretary of Defense. More info on his involvement in the Vietnam War.

Anonymous said

at 5:01 pm on Apr 13, 2008

This wiki had so much information, and it was all well-organized. It was very interesting to see how successful McNamara was, from going to prestigious colleges to working for the president! I didn't quite understand what some of your pictures were though, so small captions describing each of them would've been nice. But yeah, good job!

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