What You Didn't Know About John Bolton
By Jill Konieczko
- The son of a fireman, John Bolton was born in Baltimore in 1948. He is married to the former Gretchen Brainerd; they have one daughter, Jennifer.
- Bolton was assistant secretary of state for international organizationsthe bureau that oversees U.N. affairsfrom 1989 to 1993, during the administration of President George H. W. Bush. During the Reagan administration, he was an assistant attorney general from 1985 to 1989.
- Bolton holds an undergraduate degree in political sciencesumma cum laudeand a law degree from Yale, where he made friends with future Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. As a college student, Bolton was editor-in-chief of the Yale Conservative and a member of Yale Young Conservatives.
- During the Vietnam War era, he declined combat duty, enlisted in the National Guard, and immediately enrolled in law school upon graduation from his undergraduate studies at Yale. In his Yale 25th-reunion book, he wrote, "I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy. I considered the war in Vietnam already lost."
- While his outspoken style is much criticized, his admirers include Vice President Cheney, who once said Bolton deserved "any job he wants" in the Bush administration.
- In his office, he once kept a bronzed hand grenadeinscribed to "the truest Reaganaut"a gift from former colleagues during his tenure at the U.S. Agency for International Development.
- A lifelong conservative, Bolton was a student organizer for Barry Goldwater's presidential campaign, was a White House intern for Spiro Agnew, and worked for then Sen. Jesse Helms, the North Carolina Republican.
- Bolton is one of the signers of a 1998 letter to President Clinton from the Project for the New American Century that called for the removal of Saddam Hussein, using, if necessary, armed intervention.
- Bolton lives by the "early to bed, early to rise" philosophyhe typically goes to bed around 8 p.m. so he can get up at 4 a.m.
- "I remain convinced that government is not an effective problem solver. I would still rely on people and markets," he wrote in an article that appeared in the yearbook for Yale's Class of 1970 25th reunion.
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