James Byrnes (1882-1972)
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Truman’s secretary of state from 1945 until January 1947.Brynes began his political career in the House (1910-24) and in 1930, was elected to the United States Senate. A strong supporter of Franklin Roosevelt, he helped to push New Deal legislation through Congress. He was appointed to the United States Supreme Court by FDR but resigned after one term to become the president’s economic advisor. Brynes was present at Yalta and his handwritten notes are the only verbatim record of Roosevelt’s last meeting with Churchill and Stalin. In his role as secretary of state, Brynes was given a great deal of latitude when meeting with foreign ministers after the war’s end. When Truman reasserted his control as the foreign policy chief, Brynes resigned rather than accept the role of subordinate. In the 1948 presidential campaign, he supported the Dixiecrat candidate, Henry Wallace. In 1950 Brynes was elected the governor of South Carolina. James Brynes retired from public life in 1955.

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