Arthur Dean; Negotiator for Disarmament

Associated Press

Arthur Hobson Dean, a New York lawyer who served as the chief U.S. negotiator at the Geneva disarmament conference in the early 1960s, died of pneumonia Monday. He was 89.

Dean, who lived in Oyster Bay, served President John F. Kennedy for nearly two years at the arduous Geneva sessions on a proposed pact to end atomic testing and at meetings on general disarmament proposals.

He also represented his country at a Geneva conference on the law of the sea in 1958 and for seven weeks in 1953 negotiated for the United States and the United Nations at talks in Panmunjom aimed at ending the Korean War.

After walking out at Panmunjom, he said, “The Communists have been using the negotiations as a forum for their propaganda. It’s all part of their psychological war. They insult you all day long.”


Dean was born and grew up in Ithaca, N.Y., attended Cornell University for his undergraduate work, which was interrupted by a Navy hitch during World War I, and graduated from Cornell Law School in 1923.

He joined Sullivan & Cromwell, a New York City law firm that specialized in international law where John Foster Dulles, later secretary of state, was one of the partners. Dean often acted as counsel for British and American banking interests in corporate reorganizations, recapitalizations and financing of industrial firms, public utilities and railroads.

During World War II he was a Coast Guard instructor in navigation and piloting.

Survivors include his wife, the former Mary Talbott Clark Marden; a son and a daughter.