politics & history The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time  

Originally by
11.7k votes 1.9k voters 42.4k views 66 items Embed

List Rules Includes former and current Secretaries of State appointed by the President.

People who've served as US Secretary of State include some of the biggest names in the history of American politics.  Many of the most talked-about politicians even went on to become President of the United States of America. These men and women have served in one of the most important and prominent positions in the world.

The office of the United States Secretary of State is the person in charge of the United States Department of State, which deals primarily with foreign affairs. This person specializes in foreign affairs, and advises the President on such matters, participates in negotiations with other countries, deals with immigration, and is responsible for regulating Americans working, traveling, or serving overseas. 

Serving as Secretary of State means a job filled with lots of travel - something that the 2013 Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, did impressively. Clinton visited a record 112 countries during her time in the office, and helped foster a rapport between the US and other countries's leaders. Only one other Secretary of State logged more travel miles, and not by much. Condoleeza Rice, who served as Secretary of State under President George W. Bush, notched a record 1,059,247 miles traveling.

While many are appointed Secretary of State after losing presidential elections, others did it the other way around and went on to become President later. James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren and Thomas Jefferson all served as Secretary of State as well as President. Clearly those lucky few who have been appointed Secretary of State, like John Kerry in 2013, are in good company.
list ordered by

1
367 112
George Marshall is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
George Marshall Died at 79 (1880-1959) - Harry S. Truman, 1947-1949

Bush-isms: Funny George Bush Quotes The Greatest U.S. Presidents of All Time

2
326 117
Thomas Jefferson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Thomas Jefferson Died at 83 (1743-1826) - George Washington, 1790-1793

3
291 81
John Quincy Adams is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
John Quincy Adams Died at 81 (1767-1848) - James Monroe, 1817-1825

4
249 75
William H. Seward is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
William H. Seward Died at 71 (1801-1872) - Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson, 1861-1869

5
187 68
James Madison is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
James Madison Died at 85 (1751-1836) - Thomas Jefferson, 1801-1809

6
405 253
Henry Kissinger is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Henry Kissinger age 94 - Gerald Ford, 1973-1977

7
165 71
James Monroe is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
James Monroe Died at 73 (1758-1831) - James Madison, 1811-1817

8
231 151
James Baker is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
James Baker age 87 - George H. W. Bush, 1989-1992

9
165 109
George P. Shultz is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
George P. Shultz age 97 - Ronald Reagan, 1982-1989

10
99 49
John Hay is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
John Hay Died at 67 (1838-1905) - William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt, 1898-1905

11
125 66
Daniel Webster is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Daniel Webster Died at 70 (1782-1852) - William Harrison, 1841, John Tyler, 1841-1843, and Millard Fillmore, 1850-1852

12
144 83
Dean Acheson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Dean Acheson Died at 78 (1893-1971) - Harry S. Truman, 1949-1953

13
384 297
Condoleezza Rice is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Condoleezza Rice age 63 - George W. Bush, 2005-2009

14
118 64
Henry Clay is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Henry Clay Died at 75 (1777-1852) - John Quincy Adams, 1825-1829

15
91 44
John Marshall is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
John Marshall Died at 80 (1755-1835) - John Adams, 1800-1801

The Best U.S. Presidents in the Past 50 Years The Greatest Minds of All Time

16
81 44
Elihu Root is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Elihu Root Died at 92 (1845-1937) - Theodore Roosevelt, 1905-1909

17
121 84
John Foster Dulles is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
John Foster Dulles Died at 71 (1888-1959) - Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953-1959

18
267 213
Madeleine Albright is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Madeleine Albright age 80 - Bill Clinton, 1997-2001

19
261 209
Colin Powell is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Colin Powell age 80 - George W. Bush, 2001-2005

20
70 42
Charles Evans Hughes is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Charles Evans Hughes Died at 86 (1862-1948) - Warren G. Harding and Herbert Hoover, 1921-1925

21
94 60
Cordell Hull is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Cordell Hull Died at 84 (1871-1955) - Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933-1944

22
51 29
Edmund Randolph is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Edmund Randolph Died at 60 (1753-1813) - George Washington, 1794-1795

23
46 31
Timothy Pickering is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Timothy Pickering Died at 84 (1745-1829) - George Washington, 1795-1800

24
93 71
Dean Rusk is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Dean Rusk Died at 85 (1909-1994) - John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, 1961-1969

25
79 65
William Jennings Bryan is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
William Jennings Bryan Died at 65 (1860-1925) - Woodrow Wilson, 1913-1915

26
67 48
Martin Van Buren is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Martin Van Buren Died at 80 (1782-1862) - Andrew Jackson, 1829-1831

27
49 38
Christian Herter is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Christian Herter Died at 71 (1895-1966) - Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1959-1961

28
47 30
John Sherman is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
John Sherman Died at 77 (1823-1900) - William McKinley, 1897-1898

29
42 30
Robert Bacon is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Robert Bacon Died at 59 (1860-1919) - Theodore Roosevelt, 1909-1909

The Most Loved American First Ladies Things You Should Know How to Do Before You Turn 30

30
59 43
Hamilton Fish is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Hamilton Fish Died at 85 (1808-1893) - Ulysses S. Grant, 1869-1877

31
51 41
Frank B. Kellogg is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Frank B. Kellogg Died at 81 (1856-1937) - Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover, 1925-1929

32
618 618
Hillary Clinton is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Hillary Clinton age 70 - Barack Obama, 2009-2013

33
38 21
William L. Marcy is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
William L. Marcy Died at 71 (1786-1857) - Franklin Pierce, 1853-1857

34
68 53
Henry L. Stimson is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Henry L. Stimson Died at 83 (1867-1950) - Herbert Hoover, 1929-1933

35
78 70
Lawrence Eagleburger is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Lawrence Eagleburger Died at 81 (1930-2011) - George H. W. Bush, 1992-1993

36
39 25
Robert Smith is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Robert Smith Died at 85 (1757-1842) - James Madison, 1809-1811

37
56 47
William P. Rogers is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
William P. Rogers Died at 88 (1913-2001) - Richard Nixon, 1969-1973

38
34 20
Thomas F. Bayard is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Thomas F. Bayard Died at 70 (1828-1898) - Grover Cleveland, 1885-1889

39
61 48
James F. Byrnes is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
James F. Byrnes Died at 90 (1882-1972) - Harry S. Truman, 1945-1947

40
38 25
John Forsyth is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
John Forsyth Died at 61 (1780-1841) - Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren, 1834-1841

41
101 98
Warren Christopher is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Warren Christopher Died at 86 (1925-2011) - Bill Clinton, 1993-1997

42
37 25
Elihu B. Washburne is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Elihu B. Washburne Died at 71 (1816-1887) - Ulysses S. Grant, 1869-1869

43
30 23
William M. Evarts is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
William M. Evarts Died at 83 (1818-1901) - Rutherford B. Hayes, 1877-1881

The Best Harry S. Truman Quotes The Best Qualities in a Woman

44
39 29
James G. Blaine is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
James G. Blaine Died at 63 (1830-1893) - Benjamin Harrison, 1889-1892, and James A. Garfield and Chester A. Arthur, 1881-1881

45
85 96
Alexander Haig is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Alexander Haig Died at 86 (1924-2010) - Ronald Reagan, 1981-1982

46
40 32
Edward Stettinius, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Edward Stettinius, Jr. Died at 49 (1900-1949) - Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, 1944-1945

47
31 25
Richard Olney is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Richard Olney Died at 82 (1835-1917) - Grover Cleveland, 1895-1897

48
27 21
Abel P. Upshur is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Abel P. Upshur Died at 54 (1790-1844) - John Tyler, 1843-1844

49
35 29
Philander C. Knox is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Philander C. Knox Died at 68 (1853-1921) - William Howard Taft, 1909-1913

50
230 279
John Kerry is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
John Kerry age 74 - Barack Obama, 2013-