National Affairs: THE NEW SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

"There is a deep sympathy for the underdog in this match of mere man v. monstrous job," wrote TIME'S armed forces reporter last week. The monstrous job: Secretary of Defense. The mere man: Neil Hosier McElroy.

Early Years

The second of three sons of Ohio schoolteachers, McElroy was born in Berea (pop. 15,000), grew up in a strict but comfortable Methodist household in Madisonville, a suburb of Cincinnati, early learned that "God will provide if you go out and scratch." By shoveling snow, wrapping laundry bundles, working in a cannery, he had saved $1,000 by...

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