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The Religious Affiliation of U.S. Secretary of State
Dean Acheson


Dean Acheson (1893-1971) was an influential United States Secretary of State who served from 1949 to 53.

Dean Acheson was born in a brick rectory of the Holy Trinity Church in Middleton, Connecticut, where his father was the pastor. Acheson's father was an Episcopalian clergyman. [Source: James Chace, Acheson: The Secretary of State Who Created the American World, Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts (1998), page 16.]

Acheson was apparently not an active churchgoer as an adult, but he remembered things from his childhood and apparently never overtly rejected his Episcopalian upbringing. Chace's biography of Acheson recounts a diplomatic incident in which Acheson quoted a passage from the Episcopalian Church's Book of Common Prayer, a quote that helped diffuse a tense situation. (Source: Chace, page 243)

More than 1,000 people attended Dean Acheson's funeral, which was held at Washington Cathedral (an Episcopalian building). No eulogy was delivered. Instead, as per Acheson's request prior to his death, there was a brief service for the burial of the dead from the Episcopalian Church's Book of Common Prayer.

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Webpage created 3 September 2005. Last modified 3 September 2005.
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