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
505 166
George Marshall is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 79 (1880-1959) - Harry S. Truman, 1947-1949

2
450 175
Thomas Jefferson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 83 (1743-1826) - George Washington, 1790-1793

3
407 120
John Quincy Adams is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 81 (1767-1848) - James Monroe, 1817-1825

4
342 103
William H. Seward is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 71 (1801-1872) - Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson, 1861-1869

5
266 93
James Madison is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 85 (1751-1836) - Thomas Jefferson, 1801-1809

6
240 93
James Monroe is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 73 (1758-1831) - James Madison, 1811-1817

7
554 357
Henry Kissinger is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
age 95 - Gerald Ford, 1973-1977

8
342 207
James Baker is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
age 88 - George H. W. Bush, 1989-1992

9
239 154
George P. Shultz is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
age 98 - Ronald Reagan, 1982-1989

10
148 76
John Hay is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 67 (1838-1905) - William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt, 1898-1905

11
173 88
Daniel Webster is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 70 (1782-1852) - William Harrison, 1841, John Tyler, 1841-1843, and Millard Fillmore, 1850-1852

12
528 395
Condoleezza Rice is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
age 64 - George W. Bush, 2005-2009

13
187 113
Dean Acheson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 78 (1893-1971) - Harry S. Truman, 1949-1953

14
136 68
John Marshall is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 80 (1755-1835) - John Adams, 1800-1801

15
375 285
Colin Powell is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
age 81 - George W. Bush, 2001-2005

16
160 94
Henry Clay is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 75 (1777-1852) - John Quincy Adams, 1825-1829

17
374 308
Madeleine Albright is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
age 81 - Bill Clinton, 1997-2001

18
164 125
John Foster Dulles is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 71 (1888-1959) - Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953-1959

19
111 77
Elihu Root is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 92 (1845-1937) - Theodore Roosevelt, 1905-1909

20
122 91
Cordell Hull is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 84 (1871-1955) - Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933-1944

21
88 72
Charles Evans Hughes is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 86 (1862-1948) - Warren G. Harding and Herbert Hoover, 1921-1925

22
113 103
William Jennings Bryan is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 65 (1860-1925) - Woodrow Wilson, 1913-1915

23
87 75
Henry L. Stimson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 83 (1867-1950) - Herbert Hoover, 1929-1933

24
67 59
Frank B. Kellogg is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 81 (1856-1937) - Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover, 1925-1929

25
88 75
Hamilton Fish is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 85 (1808-1893) - Ulysses S. Grant, 1869-1877

26
67 53
Edmund Randolph is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 60 (1753-1813) - George Washington, 1794-1795

27
119 111
Dean Rusk is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 85 (1909-1994) - John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, 1961-1969

28
91 80
Martin Van Buren is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 80 (1782-1862) - Andrew Jackson, 1829-1831

29
773 853
Hillary Clinton is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
age 71 - Barack Obama, 2009-2013

30
58 49
Robert Bacon is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 59 (1860-1919) - Theodore Roosevelt, 1909-1909

31
61 54
Timothy Pickering is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 84 (1745-1829) - George Washington, 1795-1800

32
56 43
James G. Blaine is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 63 (1830-1893) - Benjamin Harrison, 1889-1892, and James A. Garfield and Chester A. Arthur, 1881-1881

33
54 40
John Forsyth is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 61 (1780-1841) - Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren, 1834-1841

34
61 59
Christian Herter is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 71 (1895-1966) - Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1959-1961

35
62 52
John Sherman is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 77 (1823-1900) - William McKinley, 1897-1898

36
97 103
Lawrence Eagleburger is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 81 (1930-2011) - George H. W. Bush, 1992-1993

37
74 69
James F. Byrnes is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 90 (1882-1972) - Harry S. Truman, 1945-1947

38
53 46
Edward Stettinius, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 49 (1900-1949) - Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, 1944-1945

39
125 142
Warren Christopher is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 86 (1925-2011) - Bill Clinton, 1993-1997

40
70 66
William P. Rogers is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 88 (1913-2001) - Richard Nixon, 1969-1973

41
49 39
Robert Smith is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 85 (1757-1842) - James Madison, 1809-1811

42
115 144
Alexander Haig is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 86 (1924-2010) - Ronald Reagan, 1981-1982

43
46 37
Elihu B. Washburne is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 71 (1816-1887) - Ulysses S. Grant, 1869-1869

44
44 34
Thomas F. Bayard is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 70 (1828-1898) - Grover Cleveland, 1885-1889

45
47 37
William L. Marcy is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 71 (1786-1857) - Franklin Pierce, 1853-1857

46
312 403
John Kerry is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
age 75 - Barack Obama, 2013-

47
81 82
Cyrus Vance is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 85 (1917-2002) - Jimmy Carter, 1977-1980

48
37 39
William M. Evarts is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 83 (1818-1901) - Rutherford B. Hayes, 1877-1881

49
32 35
Edward Everett is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 71 (1794-1865) - Millard Fillmore, 1852-1853

50
44 43
Philander C. Knox is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Former US Secretaries of State of All Time
Died at 68 (1853-1921) - William Howard Taft, 1909-1913