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William Harding Jackson

William Harding Jackson
Born March 25, 1901
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Died September 28, 1971
Tucson, Arizona, U.S.
Education Fay School
St. Mark's School
Alma mater Princeton University
Harvard Law School
Occupation Lawyer, investment banker, civil servant
Spouse(s) Mary P. Keating (divorced)
Children Bruce P. Jackson
Howell E. Jackson
Relatives John Harding (paternal great-great-grandfather)
William Giles Harding (paternal great-grandfather)
Howell Edmunds Jackson (paternal granduncle)

William Harding Jackson (II) (March 25, 1901 – September 28, 1971) was a U.S. civilian administrator, New York lawyer, and investment banker who served as Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.[1] Jackson also served briefly under President Dwight D. Eisenhower as United States National Security Advisor in 1956 while in his role as Special Assistant for National Security Affairs from 1956 to 1957.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life 3
  • Death 4
  • References 5

Early life

William Harding Jackson, II was born on March 25, 1901 on the Belle Meade Plantation, in Belle Meade, Tennessee near Nashville, Tennessee. His father was William Harding Jackson, I and his mother, Anne Davis (Richardson) Jackson (later remarried to Stevenson).[2]

Jackson attended the Fay School in Boston and St. Mark's School, an Episcopal Preparatory school in Southborough, Massachusetts. He received his undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree (B.A.) from Princeton University (1924) and his LL.B. from Harvard Law School (1928).


Jackson joined the New York law firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. In 1930, he moved to the business and financial interest law firm of Carter, Ledyard & Milburn, where he became a full 'partner' in 1934.

During World War II, Jackson served in the United States Army (1942–1945) as an intelligence officer on the staff of General Omar Bradley in 1944-45. Jackson achieved the rank of full 'Colonel' in the Army Air Force and served as 'Deputy G-2' under Brigadier General Edwin Sibert ('G-2') at Headquarters, 12th Army Group, SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces) on General Bradley's staff. After World War II, Jackson became an investment banker and the 'Managing Partner' (1947) for J. H. Whitney & Co. in New York.[3]

Jackson was appointed as Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency on August 18, 1950. He was the first Deputy Director of Central Intelligence at CIA to serve under former Ambassador to the Soviet Union (1946) and former World War II four-star General, Walter Bedell Smith (DCI). During the Eisenhower Administration, Bill Jackson is listed by the 'White House Staff' publication [4] and by the CIA as being a 'Special Assistant' and 'Senior Consultant to the Director of Central Intelligence' (from 1951–1957). Bill Jackson was the Chairman of President Eisenhower's Committee on International Information Activities, often known inside the Beltway as the 'Jackson Committee', during 1953 and 1954. In February 1956 he was appointed special assistant to President Eisenhower on psychological warfare, succeeding Nelson Rockefeller.[5]

Personal life

Jackson married Mary P. Keating, the daughter of Norman B. Pitcairn, a former President of the Wabash Railroad. They had two sons together: Bruce P. Jackson and Howell E. Jackson. After they divorced, Keating remarried another New York lawyer, Wendell Davis, who died in 1972; she subsequently remarried a third time to U.S. Senator and former Ambassador to Israel, Kenneth Keating; thus, becoming Mary (Pitcairn) Jackson Davis Keating.

Jackson retired in Tucson, Arizona.


Jackson died on September 28, 1971 in Tucson, Arizona. He was seventy-one.


  1. ^ (Reference: "The Central Intelligence Agency", by Arthur B. Darling, copyright, 1990, ISBN 0-271-00717-6 -- and --"General Walter Bedell Smith as Director of Central Intelligence", by Ludwell Lee Montague, copyright, 1992, ISBN 0-271-00750-8 - both texts declassified with redactions and deletions by the CIA and published by The Pennsylvania State University Press)
  2. ^ (Reference: Tennessee State Library and Archives "The Papers of William Hicks Jackson (1835-1903)from 1766-1978", Accession Number 1979.059, completed December 12, 1979.)
  3. ^ Eisenhower Presidential Library - the interviews of Gordon Gray
  4. ^ Eisenhower Presidential Library, White House Staff photographs and biographies of key people
  5. ^ "U.S. President's Appointments". The Times. February 25, 1956. p. 5. 
Legal offices
Preceded by
Dillon Anderson
United States National Security Advisor
Succeeded by
Robert Cutler
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