John N. Irwin II

John Nichol Irwin II (December 31, 1913 – February 28, 2000) was an American diplomat and attorney during the Cold War.[1][2] During World War II, he served in the Army in the Pacific as a member of General Douglas MacArthur's staff and reached the rank of lieutenant colonel.[1]

John N. Irwin
John N. Irwin, II.jpg
United States Ambassador to France
In office
March 23, 1973 – October 20, 1974
Preceded byArthur K. Watson
Succeeded byKenneth Rush
1st United States Deputy Secretary of State
In office
July 12, 1972 – February 1, 1973
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byKenneth Rush
26th United States Under Secretary of State
In office
September 21, 1970 – July 12, 1972
Preceded byElliot L. Richardson
Succeeded byHimself (as Deputy Secretary)
5th Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs
In office
October 4, 1958 – January 20, 1961
Preceded byMansfield D. Sprague
Succeeded byPaul Henry Nitze
Personal details
John Nichol Irwin II

December 31, 1913
Keokuk, Iowa, U.S.
DiedFebruary 28, 2000(2000-02-28) (aged 86)
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Jane Watson
(m. 1940; died 1970)

Jane Reimers
(m. 1976; his death 2000)
ChildrenJohn, Jane, Watkins (stepchild), Thomas (stepchild), Carl (stepchild)


He was born on December 31, 1913 in Keokuk, Iowa.[1]

He was the last person to hold the position of Under Secretary of State when that was the U.S. State Department's second-ranking office (1970-1972). In 1972, he became the first person to hold the office of Deputy Secretary of State, which succeeded the office of Under Secretary; he held that office until February 1, 1973. In both capacities, his superior was Secretary William P. Rogers. Irwin resigned from the position of Deputy Secretary to serve as U.S. Ambassador to France.[2]

He died on February 28, 2000 in New Haven, Connecticut.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Nick Ravo (February 29, 2000). "John N. Irwin II, 86, Diplomat And Ex-Aide to MacArthur". New York Times.
  2. ^ a b "John N. Irwin II". Soylent Communications. Retrieved 2009-08-24.
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Arthur K. Watson
United States Ambassador to France
Succeeded by
Kenneth Rush