Rogers, William P. (William Pierce), 1913-2001


William Pierce Rogers was attorney general under President Eisenhower from November 7, 1957 to January 20, 1961. Rogers graduated from Colgate University in 1934 and Cornell Law School in 1937, after serving as editor of the Cornell Law Quarterly (1935-37). Rogers would serve as deputy attorney general (1953-57) and later attorney general (1957-61) in the Eisenhower administration. Highly involved during the Little Rock confrontation, Rogers spent his time as attorney general working to end segregation in the schools, implementing the changes that his predecessor had made with respect to the department's civil rights division. Rogers also advocated a constitutional amendment to clarify the transfer of power in times of presidential disability, owing to the confusion caused by Eisenhower's heart problems. After 1961, he rejoined his law firm and later argued on behalf of the New York Times in the landmark libel case of New York Times v. Sullivan (1964). On January 23, 1969, Rogers was sworn in as secretary of state under President Nixon and served in the administration until he was asked to resign on September 23, 1973. Rogers spent his time working on Vietnam, signing the American cease-fire on January 24, 1973. He also devised the "Rogers Plan" for peace in the Middle East, calling for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders in exchange for Arab recognition of Israel's right to exist. -- The University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs WWW site.

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