William Henry Draper Jr.
United States Ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
In office
April 8, 1953 – June 13, 1953
PresidentDwight D. Eisenhower
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byJohn Chambers Hughes
United States Under Secretary of the Army
In office
September 18, 1947 – February 28, 1949
PresidentHarry S. Truman
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byGordon Gray
United States Under Secretary of War
In office
August 29, 1947 – September 17, 1947
PresidentHarry S. Truman
Preceded byKenneth Royall
Succeeded byHimself
Personal details
Born(1894-08-10)August 10, 1894
DiedDecember 26, 1974(1974-12-26) (aged 80)
Political partyRepublican
SpouseKatherine Baum
EducationNew York University (BA, MA)
Military service
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1918–1949
Rank Major General

William Henry Draper Jr. (August 10, 1894 – December 26, 1974) was an American army officer, banker, government official, and diplomat.

Early life

William Henry Draper Jr., was born on August 10, 1894, in Harlem, New York City. His parents were Mary Emma (née Carey) Draper (1872–1960)[1] and William Henry Draper (1859–1929).

Draper received a B.A. and M.A. in economics at New York University.[2]


Dillon, Read & Co. logo

Draper joined the U.S. Army soon after finishing college and served during World War I as a major in the infantry. After the war, he stayed in the Army Reserves and worked his way up to chief of staff of the 77th Division from 1936 to 1940.[2]

From 1919 to 1921, he worked for National City Bank in New York City. He later worked for Bankers Trust Company from 1923 to 1927, and then Dillon, Read & Co. from 1927. In 1937, he was made a vice president of Dillon Read. Dillon Read promoted bonds of the Soviet Union after its recognition by the US government in 1933. Dillon Read also underwrote millions of dollars worth of German industrial bonds in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s.[3] He worked for Dillon Read until 1953.[2]

Public service

At the invitation of George Marshall, he moved to Washington, D.C., to serve on the President's Advisory Committee for Selective Service, and he was promoted to colonel in 1940. At the start of World War II, he took command of the 136th Infantry, 33rd Division, National Guard.[3]

Kammergericht, 1945–1990 Allied Control Council

At the end of the war, he was promoted to brigadier-general and was posted to Berlin to serve as chief of the Economics Division, Allied Control Council for Germany from 1945 to 1947. He opposed the Morgenthau Plan, which was designed to prevent a resurgence of German economic and military power by deindustrializing it and turning into a pastoral country. Instead, he strongly supported measures to expedite Germany's economic recovery along liberal free-market and democratic lines followed by Konrad Adenauer and Ludwig Erhard. There was some criticism of him by the Chief of the Decartelization Branch for Military Government in Germany after World War II, James Stewart Martin for leaving some former Nazis in their positions in industry, in particular Alexander Kreuter.[4]

After a promotion to major-general, Draper was asked by the new Secretary of War Kenneth C. Royall to become his Under Secretary of War. With the transition of the Department of War to the Department of the Army, Draper became the first under secretary of the Army from September 18, 1947, to February 28, 1949.[3] Later in 1949, he rejoined Dillon Read as a senior partner.[5] According to the Annenberg CPB documentary "The Pacific Century, Ep.5 Reinventing Japan" Gen. Draper, referred to therein as the "Wall Street General" was instrumental in overturning some key progressive reforms sought by Colonel Charles Kades of the Supreme Command Allied Powers (SCAP) in occupied Japan.

Draper served as Long Island Rail Road trustee from 1950 to 1951. He served as the first US Ambassador to NATO in Paris.[2]

Hiss Case involvement

Alger Hiss, ca. 1950

On August 7, 1948, Draper, then Undersecretary of War, requested that William L. Marbury Jr. fly to Geneva, Switzerland, and spend a month there to help the U.S. negotiate the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Marbury was a close friend of Alger Hiss. Draper's request came days after Whittaker Chambers had included Hiss's name among those of government spies in the Ware Group during Chambers' testimony under subpoena before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). In effect, the request prevented Marbury from helping during Hiss's further HUAC testimony in August and into September, when Hiss was considering a libel suit against Chambers for statements made August 27 on NBC Radio's nationwide Meet the Press broadcast.[6][7]

Later career

After retiring from public service a second time, he traveled to Mexico City to serve as chairman of the Mexican Light and Power Company. Returning to the U.S. in 1959,[8] he formed the first West Coast venture capital firm Draper, Gaither and Anderson in California.[9]

In 1967, he retired from Draper Gaither, moved to Washington, D.C., and joined Combustion Engineering in New York as chairman,[10] retiring a few years later to become the U.S. delegate to the United Nations Population Commission, serving from 1969 to 1971. He also cofounded the Population Crisis Committee in 1965 and chaired the Draper Committee.[11]

Personal life

On September 7, 1918, Draper was married to Katherine Louise Baum, a daughter of George Baum of Yonkers, New York. Before her death in 1942,[12] they were the parents of three children, including:

On March 12, 1949, he remarried to Eunice Barzynski, a daughter of Brig.-Gen. Joseph E. Barzynski.[18][19]

Draper died on December 26, 1974, of a heart attack in Naples, Florida. After a funeral in Fort Myer, he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.[2][20]


Through his son William, he was the grandfather of actress Polly Draper and venture capitalist Timothy C. Draper who founded Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Through his grandson Timothy, he was a great-grandfather of venture capitalist and television personality Jesse Draper. Through his granddaughter Polly, he was a great-grandfather of Nat Wolff and Alex Wolff, who are both actors and musicians.

See also


  1. ^ "Obituary 1 -- DRAPER". The New York Times. 23 November 1960. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e "William H. Draper Jr. Is Dead; Served on Population Panels". The New York Times. 27 December 1974. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  3. ^ a b c White, Theodore H (21 December 1952). "No. 1 American in Europe". New York Times Magazine.
  4. ^ Martin, James Stewart (1950). All Honorable Men: The Story of the Men on Both Sides of the Atlantic Who Successfully Thwarted Plans to Dismantle the Nazi Cartel System. [Little, Brown & Co. ISBN 9781504034906. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
  5. ^ Unfinished Business: Ayukawa Yoshisuke and U.S.-Japan Relations, 1937-1953 by Haruo Iguchi
  6. ^ Marbury, Jr., William L. (1981). "The Hiss-Chambers Libel Suit". Maryland Historical Magazine. 70 ("Donie") (1). Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  7. ^ Marbury, Jr., William L. (1988). In the Catbird Seat. Maryland Historic Society. ISBN 9780938420316. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  8. ^ Times, Special to The New York (23 March 1959). "Proper Public Servant; William Henry Draper Jr". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  9. ^ "INVESTMENT FIRM IS FORMED IN WEST". The New York Times. 14 August 1959. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  10. ^ "EQUIPMENT MAKER ELECTS TOP OFFICER". The New York Times. 28 April 1963. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  11. ^ Finney, John W. (3 December 1965). "WIDE STARVATION IN DECADE IS SEEN; Draper Asks 'Massive' Birth Curbs and Food Increase". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  12. ^ "MRS. WILLIAM H. DRAPER JR.; Husband, an Army Colonel, Was Banker, Scarsdale Trustee". The New York Times. 1 November 1942. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  13. ^ "Dorothy Draper Wagner Is Sworn Into WAVES". Scarsdale Inquirer. No. 40. 29 September 1944. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  14. ^ "MRS. D. WAGNER MARRIED; Daughter of Army General Wed in Berlin to Phillips Hawkins". The New York Times. 16 July 1947. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  15. ^ "Dorothy Hawkins". www.pritzkermilitary.org. Pritzker Military Museum & Library | Chicago. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  16. ^ "Katherine Draper Haimbaugh Obituary (1922 - 2021) | Columbia, South Carolina". echovita.com. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  17. ^ "G. D. Haimbaugh Jr. Weds Miss Draper". The New York Times. 22 August 1960. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  18. ^ "GEN. DRAPER WEDS TODAY; Former Economic Aide to Marry Eunice Barzynski, Ex-Captain". The New York Times. 12 March 1949. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  19. ^ Times, Special to the New York (13 March 1949). "GEN. W..H. DRAPER JR. WEDS; Marries Eunice Barzynski--Royall Serves as Best Man". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  20. ^ "Burial detail: Draper, William H Jr". ANC Explorer. Retrieved 27 March 2023.
Political offices Preceded byKenneth Royall United States Under Secretary of War August 29, 1947–September 17, 1947 Succeeded byHimselfas United States Under Secretary of the Army Preceded byNew Office United States Under Secretary of the Army September 18, 1947–February 28, 1949 Succeeded byGordon Gray Business positions Preceded byDavid E. Smucker and H.L. Delatour President of Long Island Rail Road 1950–1951 Succeeded byWilliam Wyer Diplomatic posts Preceded byNew Office United States Ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization April 8, 1953–June 13, 1953 Succeeded byJohn Chambers Hughes