Tuesday, June 24, 2008



John W. F. Dulles died at North Central Baptist Hospital, San Antonio, Monday, June 23, 2008 at approximately 1:20 am CDT

Professor Dulles was the first born son of former Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and Janet Pomeroy Avery. He was born in 1913 in Auburn, New York.

He attended St. Bernard's School in New York City and the Gunnery School in Washington, Conn. before earning a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University in 1935. He received his MBA from Harvard University in 1937. After several years at the Bank of New York, and at Callahan Mining Co., Dulles attended the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz., where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Metallurgical Engineering in 1943, followed by an advanced degree in Metallurgical Engineering in 1951.

His mining career began at The Duquesne mine of Patagonia, Ariz. near Nogales, where he mucked the roads to the mine, and then advanced to underground operations.

On June 15, 1940 he married Eleanor Foster Ritter of Philadelphia. The young couple returned to Arizona. Their first and second children, Edith and John, were born in Arizona. In 1943, Mr. Dulles took a position with Cia Minera de Peñoles, S.A. in Monterrey, Mexico where he became the assistant general manager from 1951 to 1959. Dulles’ two other children, Ellen and Avery, were born in Monterrey. His interest in Mexico grew, and he wrote his first book “Yesterday in Mexico: a Chronicle of the Revolution 1919 - 1936.” From 1959 to 1962 he was the executive vice president of Cia Mineracão Novalimense in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The family resided in Rio de Janeiro and once again the history of the country in which he lived opened up a new path for this historian and author.

Dulles became a full-time history professor when he returned to the United States as a professor of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas in 1962 and also the University of Arizona from 1966 to 1991. Mr. Dulles had just finished his forty-fifth year of teaching this past spring at University of Texas at Austin and was planning his fall course material. He published twelve books on the political history of Brazil in the Twentieth Century. “Anarchists and Communists in Brazil, 1900 – 1935” and “Yesterday in Mexico: a Chronicle of the Revolution 1919 – 1936” were seminal works setting the standard for scholarly research on these subjects. His most recent publication “Resisting Brazil's Military Regime: an account of the battles of Sobral Pinto” published in 2007 by the University of Texas Press was the second of a two-volume biography. The book includes much important information regarding Brazil’s struggle for a stable government and the road that has contributed to Brazil’s current success. It is widely understood that Professor Dulles’s research was impeccable.

Other activities, accomplishments and commendations include: Advisor to U.S. delegation to OAS Conference, Viña Del Mar, Chile, 1967; cons. U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, 1968 – 1972. He earned the Achievement medal; University of Arizona, 1960, Partners of the Alliance Medal, Brazilian Govt., 1966. Additionally, one of his proudest nominations was that of The American Society of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem (knight). Memberships include Fellow CA Institute International Studies; member; American History Association, Texas Institute of Letters, Phi Kappa Phi, Gamma Sigma Epsilon, Theta Tau.

One avocation was tennis, a game he played late into his eighties. Dulles was also an avid correspondent; his scholarly publications, as well as his letters to colleagues and friends, being legendary.

His wife of sixty-eight years, Eleanor Ritter Dulles, died on June 19, four days before his death. His younger sister, Lillias Pomeroy (Dulles) Hinshaw died in 1987.

His younger brother Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J. of New York survives him. In addition, four children; Mrs. Edith Lawlis Dulles, Dallas; John F. Dulles II, Denver; Mrs. Ellen Dulles-Coelho, San Antonio; R. Avery Dulles, Austin; nine grandchildren and six great grandchildren survive Mr. Dulles.

A graveside service is planned for Thursday, June 26. Further information on services and wishes of the family may be obtained at www.porterloring.com


Maria Sacchetti said...

Please accept my sincere condolences. Professor Dulles was a revelation during my years at UT. With his gift for storytelling, he turned history classes into rich, dramatic experiences. Who could forget his descriptions of historical figures that brought them to life? He was also kind and generous, loaning some of us books and making sure that we had handouts from the news of the day. I will always remember his hard work and his grace.

Maria Sacchetti
Boston, MA
ILAS '99

Claire said...

I took Professor Dulles' class during the fall 2003 semester at UT, and I just mentioned to a colleague last week how much I enjoyed his humor, insight, and especially the way he recounted his firsthand experiences with major leaders in Brazil. He was a wonderful man and I will remember him very fondly. My thoughts and sympathies are with you.

Claire Campbell
Washington, DC

Edith said...

This was received by the family on Friday, June 27:
It was so nice to talk to you today and finally meet you. Professor Dulles was a very special person in all of our lives at Dobie, and he will always evoke happiness and cheer in our minds. "Have a happy day" will forever be a part of our vocabulary. We will miss him dearly, yet hopefully live up to his example of being just a really honorable and kind human being. It's hard to believe that I will never see him in his scooter, with his red glasses and his winter hat with the flaps. It was an honor being a small part of such a great man's life. I promise you we will do something special for your father, something lasting at Dobie, even though he mostly wanted other people to feel special. Your entire family should be very proud of such a brilliant man who never went out of his way to make you think he was brilliant. He is truly in a better place now, free from pain and suffering, and with his beloved wife.


Todd Engstrom
General Manager
Dobie Center

john said...

Thank you to the many, many friends, colleagues, students, associates and others who have expressed their admiration for my father. Your warm tributes and recollections are most inspiring and appreciated. Professor Dulles could have continued on for many more years in the classroom had his body not failed him. He was sharp, witty and insightful until the end, reading newspapers, keeping up with the stock market, the Astros, and political developments in Brazil. He was one of a kind. Thank you to all who helped him, including the great folks at the Dobie Center, Super 8 and Denny's in Austin. Special thanks to his students - you are what motivated him, and kept him going!

Claudia said...

This is a long overdue message, but I wanted to express my sincere condolences for the loss of Professor Dulles. I had the privilege of taking classes with Professor Dulles over the past school year both in the fall and spring semesters. I really can't say in words how much I came to admire and appreciate his passion for teaching and his endless thirst for knowledge. He inspired me in countless ways. Everyday in his class, Brazilian history came alive and his zeal for imparting knowledge to us never wavered. Even in his last school year and on days when he felt less than 100% physically, he taught the courses with enthusiasm. Each day he made the lecture not only interesting and educational, but also humorous and engaging. Going to his class three days a week felt like a reward rather than a responsibility.

Thank you to the family for sharing such an amazing person with all of us. He is very much missed by myself and my many other friends who took courses with him over the past several years. I assure you I will never forget him and my thoughts go out to all of you during this difficult time.