politics The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time  

Keaton
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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
465 147
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

2
417 159
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
373 109
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
309 98
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
241 88
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
215 89
James Monroe is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
James Monroe Died at 73 (1758-1831) - James Madison, 1811-1817

7
512 329
Henry Kissinger is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Henry Kissinger age 95 - Gerald Ford, 1973-1977

8
315 187
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
223 137
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
494 369
Condoleezza Rice is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Condoleezza Rice age 64 - George W. Bush, 2005-2009

11
129 69
John Hay is listed (or ranked) 11 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

12
155 86
Daniel Webster is listed (or ranked) 12 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

13
173 107
Dean Acheson is listed (or ranked) 13 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

14
346 265
Colin Powell is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Colin Powell age 80 - George W. Bush, 2001-2005

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15
119 63
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

16
144 88
Henry Clay is listed (or ranked) 16 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

17
343 282
Madeleine Albright is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Madeleine Albright age 81 - Bill Clinton, 1997-2001

18
150 111
John Foster Dulles is listed (or ranked) 18 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

19
101 68
Elihu Root is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Elihu Root Died at 92 (1845-1937) - Theodore Roosevelt, 1905-1909

20
83 62
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
113 86
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

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22
82 66
Hamilton Fish is listed (or ranked) 22 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

23
62 47
Edmund Randolph is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Edmund Randolph Died at 60 (1753-1813) - George Washington, 1794-1795

24
60 54
Frank B. Kellogg is listed (or ranked) 24 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

25
56 49
Timothy Pickering is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Timothy Pickering Died at 84 (1745-1829) - George Washington, 1795-1800

26
98 97
William Jennings Bryan is listed (or ranked) 26 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

27
59 46
John Sherman is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
John Sherman Died at 77 (1823-1900) - William McKinley, 1897-1898

28
51 38
James G. Blaine is listed (or ranked) 28 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

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29
52 44
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

30
92 89
Lawrence Eagleburger is listed (or ranked) 30 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

31
72 61
James F. Byrnes is listed (or ranked) 31 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

32
77 70
Henry L. Stimson is listed (or ranked) 32 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

33
83 74
Martin Van Buren is listed (or ranked) 33 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

34
58 54
Christian Herter is listed (or ranked) 34 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

35
113 124
Alexander Haig is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Alexander Haig Died at 86 (1924-2010) - Ronald Reagan, 1981-1982

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36
109 104
Dean Rusk is listed (or ranked) 36 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

37
50 39
Edward Stettinius, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 37 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

38
47 36
John Forsyth is listed (or ranked) 38 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

39
728 800
Hillary Clinton is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Hillary Clinton age 71 - Barack Obama, 2009-2013

40
47 34
Robert Smith is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Robert Smith Died at 85 (1757-1842) - James Madison, 1809-1811

41
42 28
Thomas F. Bayard is listed (or ranked) 41 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

42
65 58
William P. Rogers is listed (or ranked) 42 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

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43
116 125
Warren Christopher is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Warren Christopher Died at 86 (1925-2011) - Bill Clinton, 1993-1997

44
45 32
William L. Marcy is listed (or ranked) 44 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

45
37 30
William M. Evarts is listed (or ranked) 45 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

46
43 32
Elihu B. Washburne is listed (or ranked) 46 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

47
40 31
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
33 29
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
31 28
Edward Everett is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Edward Everett Died at 71 (1794-1865) - Millard Fillmore, 1852-1853

50
41 37
Philander C. Knox is listed (or ranked) 50 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