Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. (1902-1985) was a patrician, elitist, pragmatist, and moderate Republican politician whose career as congressman, senator, ambassador, and presidential adviser added prestige to his already famous family names.
At the swearing-in ceremony for the new Ambassador to Vietnam, Henry Cabot Lodge, President Johnson proclaims that the United States would not continue to fight in Vietnam “if its help were not wanted and requested.” The appointing of Lodge and the recall of former Ambassador Frederick Nolting, Jr., signaled a change in U.S. policy in South Vietnam. Lodge was a firm believer in the domino theory and when he became convinced that the United States could not win in Vietnam with President Ngo Dinh Diem, he became very critical of Diem’s regime in his dispatches back to Washington. Diem was ultimately removed from office and assassinated during a coup by opposition South Vietnamese generals that began on November 1, 1963. Diem and his brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu, were assassinated some time after midnight on November 2.
Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. (he dropped the junior in 1956) was born July 5, 1902, in his parents' summer home beside the rocky shore at Nahant, Massachusetts. The circumstances of his birth could not have been more fitting for the scion of several of America's oldest and most prestigious families. Through his father, George, he inherited the legacy of George Cabot, who seized fame and fortune as a highly successful privateer during the American Revolution. His grandfather—and namesake— was none other than U.S. Senator Henry Cabot Lodge (Republican from Massachusetts), President Theodore Roosevelt's closest personal friend and political adviser. Through his mother, Mathilda Elizabeth Frelinghuysen Davis, he was related to even more congressmen, senators, and cabinet members. That Lodge perpetuated and enhanced this line-age of wealth and power was a matter of no small achievement, even granted the advantages bestowed on him by birth.
Henry Cabot Lodge helped write the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890 (15 U.S.C.A. § 1 et seq.). He was an enthusiastic supporter of the spanish-american war of 1898 and advocated military power as the United States' best tactic for peace. He believed firmly in the principles of the monroe doctrine, by which the United States sought to protect nations in the Western Hemisphere from European intrusion. Although he opposed strong control by the federal government, he believed that in some circumstances moderate government regulation was essential to prevent socialism. Lodge was a conservative Republican U.S. senator from 1893 to 1924. He successfully fought to defeat U.S. entry into President woodrow wilson's newly proposed league of nations at the end of world war i. He chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 1918 to 1924 and influenced U.S. foreign policy in the first quarter of the twentieth century. He also was a prolific writer, most notably of a series of biographies, and the grandfather of Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., a Republican senator in 1937–44 and 1947–53.