John Foster Dulles in The 1950s
John Foster Dulles (1888-1959) was Eisenhower's Secretary of State until April of 1959, when he resigned from office because of illness. (Dulles died a month later.) Dulles was an international lawyer from a politically distinguished family; both his grandfather and his uncle had also served as Secretary of State. He had been involved in diplomacy since World War I and had helped set up the United Nations and NATO at the end of World War II.
Deeply religious and a fierce anticommunist, Dulles was considered by many to be inflexible and sanctimonious. Even Eisenhower called him an "international prosecuting attorney."1 Dulles had criticized the previous president, Harry Truman, for seeking only the "containment" of Communism; he wanted to roll back Communist control in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. Although he was mostly thwarted in this goal while in office, Dulles brought a hard edge to Eisenhower's foreign policy and pressed for confrontation in many cases where Ike preferred conciliation.