Published April 18, 2012
WASHINGTON – Stanley R. Resor, who served two presidents as secretary of the Army for six years during the height of the Vietnam War and represented the U.S. during force reduction negotiations in the mid-1970s, has died. He was 94.
Resor died Tuesday at his home in Washington, D.C., said a son, Ed Resor.
Resor was born in New York City on Dec. 5, 1917. His father, Stanley B. Resor, was president of the advertising agency J. Walter Thompson.
Resor was 11 when he and family friends visited Jackson Hole, Wyo. He persuaded his father to buy a cattle ranch there, beginning a lifelong tie to the area. He later served as a board member for the Jackson Hole Land Trust.
After graduating from Yale University in 1939, Resor entered the university's law school but left to join the Army in 1942. He served in the 10th Armored Division during World War II and was among those surrounded at Bastogne, Belgium, during the Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and the Silver Star during his service and left the Army as a lieutenant colonel.
He earned a law degree from Yale in 1946 and practiced corporate law in New York with the firm Debevoise & Plimpton. He left private practice in 1965 to serve as undersecretary of the Army. Three months later, in July 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him Army secretary. He continued in that position after President Richard M. Nixon's election in 1968, then left in 1971 and returned to his law practice.
Resor served as U.S. ambassador to the mutual and balanced force reduction negotiations in Vienna from 1973-78 and as undersecretary of defense for policy from August 1978 to March 1979. He then practiced law with Debevoise & Plimpton until he retired in 1991.
He married Jane Lawler Pillsbury in 1942, and they had seven sons. She died in 1994. In addition to his sons, Resor is survived by his wife, Louise, whom he married in 1999.