A longtime public servant who served nearly 12 years as President Franklin D. Roosevelt's secretary of state, Hull was too ill to attend the 1946 Legion national convention to receive the Distinguished Service Medal. Accepting the award on his behalf was Assistant Secretary of State John Hilldring, who said The American Legion always had Hull's "earnest support and affection."
Past National Commander Roane Waring, a fellow Tennessean, said of Hull, "Not only did he bring to that administration his great ability in dealing with foreign affairs, but throughout the long and hectic days of the Great Depression, and the national efforts to overcome the same, his was the stabilizing influence, the fundamental Americanism, that frequently challenged and advised against false panaceas."
Considered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to be the "father of the United Nations," Hull earned a Nobel Peace Prize in 1945 for his initiative in helping create the council. He served his nation for the better part of five decades, giving up his U.S. Senate seat after only two years to become Roosevelt's secretary of state. His poor health forced him to resign in late 1944, but he still contributed to the U.N. Conference in 1945.
Hull also served his native Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1907 to 1931, with a brief stint as chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1921 to 1924.
Prior to that, he was elected to the Tennessee House in the late 1890s before serving in the Spanish-American War. After that, he returned to his Tennessee law practice and was appointed to the bench.
The Nobel Prize Web site calls Hull's major contribution to the end of World War II to be "that of preparing a blueprint for an international organization dedicated to the maintenance of peace and endowed with sufficient legislative, economic and military power to achieve it."
He died in 1955, at 83.
For more on Hull, click here (www.cordellhullmuseum.com/history.html).