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Register of the Robert Daniel Murphy papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Funding Note
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Accruals
  • Alternate Forms Available
  • Biographical Note
  • Foreword
  • Scope and Content Note, Incremental Materials
  • Arrangement

  • Title: Robert D. Murphy papers
    Date (inclusive): 1913-1978
    Collection Number: 78060
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 177 manuscript boxes, 17 oversize boxes, 3 card file boxes, 67 envelopes, 5 phonotape reels (80.0 linear feet)
    Abstract: Correspondence, memoranda, reports, dispatches, speeches and writings, printed matter, and photographs, relating to Allied diplomacy during World War II (especially preparatory to the invasion of French North Africa), wartime and postwar diplomatic conferences, administration of occupied Germany, postwar American foreign relations, and international business enterprises. Digital copies of select records also available at https://digitalcollections.hoover.org. 
    Physical location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Creator: Murphy, Robert D. (Robert Daniel), 1894-1978

    Funding Note

    Register for box 1-146 was made possible through a gift from the Corning Glass Works Foundation, Corning, New York.


    The collection is open for research; materials must be requested at least two business days in advance of intended use.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact Hoover Institution Archives.
    First descriptive section, Boxes 1-146 Published as:

    Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace. Robert D. Murphy :  a register of his papers in the Hoover Institution archives / compiled by Grace M. Hawes. Stanford, CA. : Hoover Institution, Stanford University, 1989.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Robert Daniel Murphy papers, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Materials were acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1978.


    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Alternate Forms Available

    Digital copies of select records also available at https://digitalcollections.hoover.org. 

    Biographical Note

    1894, October 28 Born, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    1917-1919 Clerk, American Legation, Bern, Switzerland
    1920 LL.B., George Washington University
    1921 Married, Mildred Taylor
      Vice Consul, Zurich, Switzerland
    1921-1925 Vice Consul, Munich, Germany
    1925 Consul, Seville, Spain
    1928 LL.M., George Washington University
    1926-1930 Department of State, Washington, D.C.
    1930-1940 Consul, Paris, France
    1940 Charge d'affaires, Vichy, France
    1940-1942 Presidential envoy to French North Africa
    1941 Concluded economic accord with General Maxime Weygand
    1942 Effected preparations for Allied landings in North Africa
    1942-1944 Chief Civil Affairs Officer and Political Adviser on Staff of Supreme Commander
      Co-chairman, North African Economic Board
    1942-1943 Member, Advisory Council, Allied Control Commission for Italy
    1944-1949 U.S. Political Adviser, Germany
    1949 Director, Office for Germany and Austria, Department of State
    1949-1952 Ambassador to Belgium
    1952-1953 Ambassador to Japan
    1953 Assistant Secretary of State for United Nations Affairs
    1953-1959 Deputy Under Secretary of State
    1959 Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
      Retirement from government service
    1960-1978 Successively President, Chairman of the Board, and Honorary Chairman of the Board, Corning Glass Works, Corning Glass International
    1964 Author, Diplomat Among Warriors
    1968-1969 Member, Presidential Transition Committee
    1973-1975 Member, Commission on the Organization of the Government for the Conduct of Foreign Policy
    1969-1976 Member (Chairman, 1976), Intelligence Oversight Board
      Member, President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board
    1978, January 9 Died, Washington, D.C.


    From humble beginnings, Robert D. Murphy became one of America's leading diplomats and statesmen. In a distinguished public service career that lasted almost sixty years, Ambassador Murphy had the good fortune to serve in interesting places at interesting times. He also had the good judgment to preserve the records of his extraordinary experiences, records that now constitute the Robert D. Murphy Collection at the Hoover Institution Archives.
    One of Murphy's first diplomatic posts, in the early 1920s, was Vice Consul in Munich, where he reported to Washington on the rise of national socialism and where he lived across the street from the Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler. Throughout the 1930s, he served as Consul in Paris. When German troops entered the city in June 1940, Murphy met with the German commanding general in order to safeguard American and French interests. Later that year, he was appointed Charge d'Affaires at Vichy.
    Shortly thereafter, President Franklin Roosevelt chose Murphy to be his special envoy to French North Africa. Roosevelt, realizing the vital role that French North Africa could play in the war, wanted a trusted personal representative to investigate conditions and report back directly to him. Robert Murphy proved the wisdom of Roosevelt's choice when his careful negotiations laid the groundwork for the successful Allied invasion of North Africa in 1942. The Murphy Papers for this period include communications with President Roosevelt and other wartime leaders, memoranda from American Ambassador to Vichy William Leahy, military and secret service (Office of Strategic Services) reports of Allied operations, as well as the diplomatic records of the wartime conferences of Allied leaders at Casablanca and Cairo.
    Murphy continued his service in Africa as political adviser under General Dwight D. Eisenhower until 1944, when he was sent to Italy as American Ambassador on the Advisory Council to the Allied Control Commission. In his new post, he participated in the signing of the Italian armistice. Murphy's intimate involvement with the Allied high command laid the basis for his subsequent memoirs, Diplomat Among Warriors (1964).
    His next assignment took him to Germany as a member of the Office of Military Government, which was set up to administer postwar reconstruction. During these years, he also served on American delegations to the Councils of Foreign Ministers in Moscow, London, and Paris, and to the Tri-Partite Talks. The records of these conferences, including the most secret negotiations, reports, memoranda and correspondence are part of the Murphy Papers. There are as well rare captured German documents, including transcripts of wartime conferences of Hitler with his top military commanders.
    In 1949, Robert Murphy was appointed United States Ambassador to Belgium and, in 1952, the first American postwar Ambassador to Japan. During his tenure in Tokyo, he also acted as Political Adviser to the United Nations Command in connection with the negotiations on the Korean War armistice. From 1953 to 1959, his assignment to the Department of State involved him in negotiations with leaders in many parts of the world: Tito in Yugoslavia, Saeb Salam in Lebanon, Bourguiba in Tunisia and King Hussein in Jordan. Shortly before he retired from government service in 1959, he served as Under Secretary of State. Records of Murphy's many important assignments during these years appear in his papers.
    After his retirement, Murphy began a new career as an executive with Corning Glass International where he successfully combined his new duties with his role as elder statesman. He served on the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board during the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations, as well as on the Intelligence Oversight Board and the Commission on the Organization of the Government for the Conduct of Foreign Policy. Memoranda, reports and internal communications from these many significant assignments appear in the Murphy papers.
    The vast correspondence Murphy carried on throughout his life is of equal importance to historians. There are letters to and from a wide assortment of important people: world leaders Andrei Vyshinsky, Harold Macmillan and Konrad Adenauer; Presidents Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower; Secretaries of State James Byrnes, Cordell Hull, Dean Acheson and John Foster Dulles; French military leaders Charles de Gaulle, Maxime Weygand, Henri Giraud and Jean Darlan; movie actors Douglas Fairbanks and Adolphe Menjou, and violinist Yehudi Menuhin.
    The register to the Robert D. Murphy Collection is composed of four parts. A Biographical Note indicates important dates in the course of Murphy's career. The overall structure of the collection is outlined in the Series Description, which explains its major divisions. The Container List describes in detail the materials within each series. An Index (available in the paper copy only) provides a single alphabetical listing of all access points in the register with page references.
    A few items in the papers retain national security classifications. Until such time as they can be declassified, they have been withdrawn from the collection and their withdrawal is so noted in the register.
    The Robert D. Murphy Papers, a gift to the Hoover Institution Archives by his daughters, Rosemary Murphy and Mildred Pond, in 1978, are open to the public without charge. The Archives Reading Room is open on weekdays from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. For further information, please contact Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University, Stanford, California, 94305.
    I am especially pleased to acknowledge the generous financial support of the Corning Glass Works Foundation, Corning, New York, without which the preparation and publication of this guide would not have been possible.

    --Charles G. Palm

    --Associate Director, Hoover Institution

    Note: In 2007, additional incremental materials added to the Robert D. Murphy Collection were organized. Please see the description on Incremental Materials below the description of the original accession.

    Scope and Content Note, Incremental Materials

    The incremental material to the Robert Murphy Papers, acquired in 2003, consists of correspondence, memoranda, reports, dispatches, speeches and writings, printed matter, photographs, and scrapbooks, relating to Allied diplomacy during World War II, wartime and postwar diplomatic conferences, administration of occupied Germany, postwar American foreign relations, and international business enterprises. The collection originates from Robert Murphy's official assignments with the State Department, his extensive professional travels, and his involvement with private organizations dedicated to promote peace, freedom, and friendship between people from different political and religious backgrounds.
    The bulk of the materials document Robert Murphy's tenure as presidential envoy to North Africa; political adviser, Office of Military Government, United States; adviser for Germany and Austria; ambassador to Japan and Belgium; assistant secretary of state for United Nations affairs; deputy under secretary of state; and under secretary of state for political affairs, and are documented in several series tied to periods of his career. They reflect his diplomatic skills and record his efforts to protect American interests. The later part of Robert Murphy's career, as recorded in Later Years, was a combination of activities in both the business and political arena, highlighted by his participation in the Presidential Transition Committee, Commission on the Organization of the Government for the Conduct of Foreign Policy, Intelligence Oversight Board, and President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.
    The numerous awards and certificates documented in the Biographical File, Memorabilia, and Oversize File reflect the high esteem in which both fellow diplomats and political leaders held Robert Murphy. The Photograph series provides a glimpse into his personal life, in addition to portraying him as a diplomat. Scrapbooks and clippings included in the Biographical File offer a review of his life and career and an assessment of his contributions to the field of American foreign policy and international diplomacy.


    Materials arranged into ten series: Biographical File I, Speeches and Writings I, Early Career, Presidential Envoy to French North Africa and Political Advisor I , Political Advisor I, Ambassadorships - Department of State I, Later Years I, Oversize File I, Phonotapes, Photographs I.
    Incremental Materials arranged into nine series, duplicating the order of the original finding aid: Biographical File II, Speeches and Writings II, Presidential Envoy to French North Africa and Political Advisor II, Political Advisor II, Ambassadorships II, Later Years II, Memorabilia, Oversize File II, Photographs II, and Declassified U.S. government records.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Allied Forces. Supreme Headquarters.
    Bilderberg Meetings.
    Germany (Territory under Allied occupation, 1945-1955 : U.S. Zone) Office of Military Government.
    United States. Commission on the Organization of the Government for the Conduct of Foreign Policy.
    United States. Department of State.
    Business enterprises--United States.
    Diplomats--United States.
    France--Foreign relations--United States.
    International business enterprises.
    Military government.
    United States--Armed Forces.
    United States--Economic conditions--1945-
    United States--Foreign relations--1945-1989.
    United States--Foreign relations--1953-1961.
    United States--Foreign relations--France.
    United States--Foreign relations.
    World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Africa, North.
    World War, 1939-1945--Diplomatic history.
    World War, 1939-1945.