Arrived in Iran last week, on one of the toughest, potentially most crucial diplomatic missions undertaken by the U.S.: W. (for William) Averell Harriman.

Born: Nov. 15, 1891, in New York; silver-spoon son of Railroad Empire Builder E. H. Harriman who controlled 60,000 miles of the nation's rails, including the Union Pacific.

Education: Groton, 1909; Yale, '13. Schoolmate at both: Dean Acheson.

Business Career: During summer vacations from college, worked as a clerk and section hand on the family's Union Pacific. In 1915, two years after graduating, became a U.P. vice president, board chairman in 1932; also (1931) a partner in the banking house,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!