JFKWHP-KN-17663 (crop): Deputy Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Walt Whitman Rostow, 28 April 1961

As Deputy Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, Walt W. Rostow worked directly under McGeorge Bundy. Appointed to the position by President-elect Kennedy in 1961, Mr. Rostow later served as Counselor and Chairman of the Policy Planning Council in the Department of State until 1966. Following Mr. Bundy’s resignation in 1966, President Johnson appointed Mr. Rostow Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. Expanding on a role initiated under President Kennedy in 1961, Mr. Rostow became a chief foreign policy advisor on the Vietnam War. In addition to his political career, Mr. Rostow was also a prolific writer and scholar specializing in economic and American History. His 1958 book The Stages of Economic Growth, influenced U.S. foreign policy toward the underdeveloped nations of Africa, Asia and Latin America in the 1960s.



 1916 Born, New York, New York

1936 B.A., Yale University

1936-38 Rhodes Scholar, Balliol College, Oxford University

1940 PhD., Yale University

1940-41 Instructor of Economics, Columbia University

1942-45 Major, OSS, U.S. Army

1945-46 Assistant Chief, German-Austrian Economic Division, Department of State

1946-47 Professor of American History, Oxford University

1947-49 Assistant to Executive Secretary, Economic Community for Europe

1949-50 Professor of American History, Cambridge University

1950-60 Professor of Economic History, MIT

1951-1960 Staff member, Center for International Studies

1961 Deputy Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

1961-66 Counselor and Chairman, Policy Planning Council, Department of State

1964-66 U.S. Representative, Inter-American Committee for the Alliance for Progress

1966-69 Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

1969- Professor of Economic History, University of Texas, Austin

2003 Died


East-West Relations: Is Détente Possible?, (with William E. Griffith) 1969.
Politics and the Stages of Growth, 1971.
The Diffusion of Power, 1972.
How it All Began: Origins of the Modern Economy, 1975.
The World Economy: History and Prospect, 1978.
Getting from Here to There, 1978.
Why the Poor Get Richer and the Rich Slow Down, 1980.
Pre-Invasion Bombing Strategy: General Eisenhower’s Decision of March 25, 1944, 1981.
The Division of Europe after World War II: 1946, 1981.
Europe after Stalin: Eisenhower’s Three Decisions of March 11, 1953, 1982.
Open Skies: Eisenhower’s Proposal of July 21, 1955, 1982.
The Barbaric Counter-Revolution: Cause and Cure, 1983.
The United States and the Regional Organization of Asia and the Pacific, 1965-1985, 1986.
Stages of Economic Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto,1991.
The Great Population Spike and After: Reflections on the 21st Century, 1998.


Contemporary Authors PEN (Permanent Entry Number): 0000085158