Biography and History

Dana Gardner Munro was a leading authority on Latin America relations in the mid-twentieth century. He was actively involved with the United States Department of State as a diplomat and was also a professor at Princeton University for more than thirty years.

Munro was born in Providence, Rhode Island on July 18, 1892. He earned bachelor's degrees from both Brown University and the University of Wisconsin, and went on to receive a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania. Munro then spent two years studying economic and political conditions in Central America for the Carnegie Peace Foundation. After serving in the U.S. Army's Air Service during World War I, the State Department hired him as an economist in 1919; during the 1920s, he was the acting chief, and later chief, of its Latin American Division. Among his diplomatic positions, he was a secretary of legation in Panama and Nicaragua, charge d'affairs in Managua, a special envoy to Haiti, a consul to Chile, and minister to Haiti (1930-1932).

Munro's career as an educator began in 1930 when he was hired as a professor of Latin American History at Princeton University. Nine years later, he became director of the University's School of Public and International Affairs. After his retirement from academia in 1961, Munro returned to an earlier role as president of the Foreign Bondholders Protective Council, a component of the State Department intended to advise in the protection of American investors.

Munro contributed to journals such as the Hispanic American Historical Review and The American Political Science Review, and authored several monographs including The Latin American Republics: a History; A Student in Central America, 1914-1916; Intervention and Dollar Diplomacy in the Caribbean, 1900-1921; and The United States and the Caribbean Republics, 1921-1933.

He died in June 1990 at the age of 97.

Source: From the finding aid for MC170

  • Dana Gardner Munro Papers. 1906-1981 (inclusive).

    Call Number: MC170

    Dana Gardner Munro (1892-1990) was an American diplomat to Latin America and a professor of history and director of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. His papers document segments of his scholarly and diplomatic work, and include Department of State press releases, subject files, lectures, correspondence, and articles relating to United States-Latin American relations and Latin American history.