Robert Strange McNamara (June 9, 1916 – July 6, 2009) was an American business executive and the eighth Secretary of Defense, serving under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson from 1961 to 1968. Following that he served as President of the World Bank from 1968 until 1981.
Speaking at Harvard University
- In November 1966 as the war in Vietnam was heating up, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara was invited to Harvard University to speak to a small group of students. The local chapter of Students for a Democratic Society demanded McNamara participate in a public debate on the war. The University ignored them. So when the Secretary arrived, they were waiting. Nearly 1,000 demonstrators surrounded the building where McNamara was speaking in an attempt to compel him to discuss the war. When McNamara made a break for his car, Carl Pope was one of several students who lay down in front of it, blocking his escape.
Arms Control Association
As at June, 1994, McNamara either served on the Board of Directors, or was a Trustee for the Arms Control Association. The stated purpose of the association was: "Research and dissemination of research on topics pertaining to peace, international security, arms control, non-proliferation, disarmament, and defense policy."