In facing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee he sometimes encountered criticism and skepticism, but he inevitably had his way. He maintained personal contacts and sought to exercise American leadership by constant travel in all parts of the world.As Secretary he flew a total of 479,286 miles outside the United States. Dulles was a man of complex character, full of paradoxes.Those who followed his career were rarely dispassionate; they divided, usually, between ardent admirers and those who disliked or distrusted him. Secondly, whatever his qualities as a policy-maker, he had few peers as an advocate.No one could equal him as a persuader in the White House councils.Born on February 25, 1888 he was a World War I veteran. He subsequently served as Secretary of State in the administration of President Dwight D.He was appointed in the United States Senate from New York, serving out the term of Robert F. Eisenhower, where he was instrumental in forming the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO).He resigned his office on April 15, 1959 as a result of a bout with cancer.He was awarded the Medal of Freedom (America's highest civilian award) shortly before his death on May 24, 1959.
He could marshal his ideas swiftly, fluently and extemporaneously; he coined many phrases, but he was not noted as an originator of new ideas. Dulles in later years assumed the characteristics of a stern church elder.
His physique, as displayed on the occasions when he took time for a swim, was impressive.
For six years John Foster Dulles dominated both the making and the conduct of United States foreign policy.
In the realm of foreign affairs he was President Eisenhower's chief adviser, his chief representative on Capitol Hill and his chief agent and negotiator at home and abroad. Dulles was a highly controversial Secretary of State. He was undoubtedly the strongest personality of the Eisenhower Cabinet, and as such he constantly played a leading role in Washington and often in the councils of the Western alliance.
When in repose the corners of his mouth drooped in an expression of extreme gravity that some observers have related to his strict Presbyterian upbringing.
But this expression was relieved by frequent broad smiles.