Robert R. Bowie

Robert R. Bowie ( / August 23, 2013)

Robert R. Bowie, a lawyer who established what is now the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, died Nov. 2 of respiratory failure at Blakehurst Retirement Community in Towson. He was 104.

The son of Clarence Keating Bowie, a Baltimore lawyer, and Helen Richardson Bowie, a homemaker, Robert Richardson Bowie was born in Baltimore and raised on Calvert Street and in Guilford.

After graduating in 1927 from the Gilman School, Mr. Bowie earned a bachelor's degree in 1931 from Princeton University and his law degree in 1934 from Harvard Law School.

Mr. Bowie practiced law in Baltimore until 1942, when he joined the Army. After World War II ended in 1945, he served as special assistant to Gen. Lucius Clay, deputy military governor for occupied Germany.

From 1946 to 1955, Mr. Bowie taught corporate and anti-trust law at Harvard Law School, with leaves of absence from 1950 to 1951 to serve as general counsel and special adviser to John J. McCloy, who was U.S. high commissioner for Germany.

From 1953 to 1957, he was director of policy planning and assistant secretary of state under Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, playing a pivotal role in forging U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War. He later returned to Harvard.

In 1958, Mr. Bowie founded and served as first director of the Center for International Affairs, now the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, where he oversaw distinguished scholars such as Henry Kissinger, Thomas Schelling and Edward Mason.

He remained director of the center until 1972. Five years later, he returned to Washington when he was appointed deputy director for national intelligence at the CIA, a position he held until 1979. He retired the next year from Harvard.

Through the 1980s, Mr. Bowie wrote a regular column on foreign policy for the Christian Science Monitor. He was also the author of "Studies in Federalism," "Arms Control and the United States Foreign Policy," "Shaping the Future: Foreign Policy in an Age of Transition," "Suez 1956," and "Waging Peace: How Eisenhower Shaped an Enduring Cold War Strategy."

Mr. Bowie had homes in Washington and a farm, Traveler's Rest, in Easton. He had been a resident of Blakehurst since 1997.

He was an accomplished woodworker and enjoyed attending the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

His wife of 62 years, the former Mary Theodosia Chapman, died in 2007.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Dec. 7 at the Old Wye Episcopal Church, 14114 Old Wye Mills Road, Wye Mills.

Mr. Bowie is survived by two sons, Robert R. Bowie Jr. of Monkton and William Chapman Bowie of Springfield, Mass.; and three grandchildren.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com