John McCloy, Presidents’ Adviser, Postwar Figure in Germany, Dies at 93

From Associated Press

John Jay McCloy, a presidential adviser and former head of the World Bank who as U.S. high commissioner to post-World War II Germany helped its transition to civilian control, died Saturday. He was 93.

McCloy also served as an assistant secretary of war during World War II and was chairman of Chase National Bank.

He died at his home in Stamford, his private secretary, Terry Recca, said.

President Bush, in a statement from Camp David, Md., said: “We are saddened by the death of John J. McCloy, one of our country’s most outstanding citizens.


“Barbara and I send our most sincere condolences to his family. John McCloy set high standards for public service. His decency and his sense of honor will long remind us of the very best in our tradition of service to country.”

Wins Service Medal

McCloy left a law practice in 1940 to assist fellow Republican Henry L. Stimson, then the secretary of war. Shortly afterward, he was appointed assistant secretary of war, for which he eventually won the Distinguished Service Medal.

McCloy went to the Casablanca, Cairo and Potsdam conferences of the Allied war leaders as a consultant.


As one of the few who knew of the U.S. plan to drop an atomic bomb on Japan, McCloy suggested that the Japanese be warned first and given a chance to surrender. He was overruled.

In 1946 and 1947, he was a member of the State Department Committee on Atomic Energy. From 1947 to 1949, he was president of the World Bank.

McCloy capped his public career by going to Germany in 1949 and serving for three years as U.S. high commissioner.

His appointment marked the beginning of a changeover from military to civilian control in the American, British and French occupation zones.

Enters Law School

McCloy, born March 31, 1895, in Philadelphia, was graduated from Amherst College in Massachusetts and then entered Harvard Law School, where his studies were interrupted by World War I.

As a second lieutenant, he went with the 77th Field Artillery to France. After the war he served with the Army of Occupation in Germany. Then he re-entered Harvard Law School and obtained a degree in 1921.

In 1930, he married Ellen Zinsser. She died in April, 1986.


In 1953, after his service in Germany, McCloy left government to become chairman of Chase National Bank. Before his retirement in December, 1960, he led Chase into a merger with the Bank of Manhattan Co. and the bank became the second-largest in the nation.

Advised Eisenhower, Kennedy

McCloy later was an unofficial disarmament adviser to President Dwight D. Eisenhower and was tapped by President John F. Kennedy to be his official adviser on disarmament and negotiations. He later served as a special consultant to U.N. Ambassador Adlai E. Stevenson.

In April, 1985, President Ronald Reagan honored McCloy in a Rose Garden ceremony, hailing him as a visionary. At that ceremony, two German officials--President Richard von Weizsaecker and Berlin Mayor Eberhard Diepgen--declared McCloy an honorary citizen of West Berlin.

He is survived by two children, John Jay McCloy II and Ellen Z. McCloy, and two grandchildren.