1916 – Born on October 7th in New York City. American economist and national security adviser Walt Whitman Rostow helped shape U.S. policy on the Vietnam War, advising President Lyndon B. Johnson to increase the country’s involvement in the conflict.
1936 – Walt completed a B.A. degree from Yale and won a Rhodes scholarship.
1938 – Walt’s Oxford B. Litt. thesis found its way to publication in Economic History Review because his advisor, Humphrey Sumner, sent it there without Walt’s knowledge.
1940 – At Oxford, he returned to Yale to finish a Ph.D.
– Walt began his teaching career at Columbia University.
1942 – Walt began his public service in the U.S. Army, for which he volunteered.
1945 – Rostow accepted a brief assignment in the State Department as assistant chief of the German-Austrian Economic Division.
1946 – Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford.
1949 – Pitt Professor of American History at Cambridge.
1951 – Professor of Economic History at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
1955 – Rockefeller asked Rostow to be chairman of an important meeting at Quantico in June consisting mainly of prominent academicians outside the bureaucratic mainstream.
1960 – Popularized the linear stages theory of economic development with his booklet, Stages of Economic Growth.
1961 – The president asked him to go to South Vietnam with General Maxwell Taylor in October to assess the situation there and to make recommendations.
1966 – He came back to the White House as Special Advisor for National Security Affairs, back in the loop in a very high-profile position. A strong backer of bombing and of the pursuit of military victory at a time when the Vietnam war began to fall out of favor with the American public, Walt became a prime target in the anti-war protest movement of the period.
1969 – He settled down at The University of Texas at Austin as the Rex G. Baker Professor of Political Economy and professor of history.
– He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
2003 – He remained a prolific researcher and dedicated teacher until his death on February 13th.