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Paul C. Warnke Papers 1

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS440

Collection-level Scope and Content Note

Although Ambassador Paul C. Warnke's official papers are at the Johnson Presidential Library, this collection documents the controversy that preceded his confirmation as Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and as a principal U.S. negotiator of the SALT II treaty. Most importantly the collection portrays his continuing role in the non-government arms control movement. There is much on Democratic presidential campaigns, the Vietnam War, and the legal culture of Washington, D.C. It consists of appointment calendars and log books, manuscripts, memoranda, printed material, and extensive correspondence, including letters from Harold Brown, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Clark M. Clifford, J. William Fulbright, and Robert C. McNamara.


  • 1963 - 2000

Collection-level Access Restrictions

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Biographical note

Paul C(ulliton) Warnke (1920-2001) was born on January 31, 1920, in Webster, Massachusetts, the son of Paul Martin Warnke and Lillian (Culliton) Warnke. After receiving an A.B. from Yale University in 1941, he served in the U.S. Coast Guard aboard ships in both the Atlantic and Pacific theatres in World War II. Later, Warnke was awarded an L.L.B. from Columbia Law School in 1948. He was chief editor of the Columbia Law Review. On September 9, 1948, Warnke married Jean Farjeon Rowe. The couple had five children. Upon graduating from law school, Warnke practiced antitrust and trade regulations law for the Washington law firm of Covington and Burling. He became a partner in 1957. In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Warnke general counsel of the defense department. Then, in July 1966, Warnke became assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, a post he held until 1969. Warnke spoke out against American policy in Vietnam, and he encouraged peace negotiations to end that conflict. Upon leaving government service in 1969, Warnke became a partner in Clifford, Warnke, Glass, McIlwain & Finney, another Washington law firm. Over time, Warnke became an expert on arms control issues vis-a-vis the Soviet Union. He favored mutual restraints in the arms race. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed Warnke director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and chief American arms negotiator at the strategic arms limitations (SALT II) talks. In October 1978, Warnke resigned due to opposition by conservatives in both the Democratic and Republican parties. Warnke practiced law until 1991 with the firm later known as Howrey, Simon, Arnold & White. Warnke retired in the late 1990s, but he continued to do arms control consulting work. He was a former trustee of Georgetown and Columbia universities. Paul C. Warnke died on October 31, 2001, in Washington, D.C. at the age of 81. [Sources: "Washington Post" 11/1/2001, p. B6; "Current Biography Yearbook: 1977" (New York, H.W. Wilson, 1977, p. 427).]


57 Linear Feet (50 boxes (originally 38 boxes) )

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Status: Open. Provenance: Gift of Mrs. Paul Warnke.

Paul C. Warnke Papers 1
Processed by Paul Weber
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Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057