Benjamin Welles

Benjamin Welles headshot
Born in Kamakura, Japan, near Tokyo, where his father was third secretary at the US Embassy, Benjamin Welles (1916-2002) attended the Groton School, graduated from Harvard University in 1938 and started working at the New York Times as a copy boy, later becoming a reporter. He joined the Army in 1942 and served with the Office of Strategic Services in North Africa and the Middle East, ending the war as a major.

Welles returned to the
New York Times in 1946 and spent 17 years as a foreign correspondent in China, London and Madrid. He covered the Hungarian uprising and the Algerian war against the French. His first book, Spain: The Gentle Anarchy, a biography of Franco, appeared in 1965. In 1963 he returned to Washington to cover national security, and retired in 1972, when he began research on a biography of his father, Sumner Welles: FDR’s Global Strategist, published in 1997, in which he dealt directly with his father’s bisexuality and alcoholism.

Welles came out of retirement in 1981 to serve as deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs in the Reagan administration.

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Sumner Welles eBook cover