Charles Douglas Jackson

General Charles Douglas (C. D.) Jackson (March 16, 1902 – September 18, 1964) was an expert on psychological warfare who served in the Office of Strategic Services in World War II and later as Special Assistant to the President in the Eisenhower administration.

Life and career

Jackson was born in New York City. After graduation from Princeton University in 1924, he entered the private sector. In 1931 Jackson took a position with Time Inc. In 1940 he was President of the Council for Democracy. From 1942-1943 he served as special assistant to the Ambassador to Turkey. From 1943-45 he served with the OSS. From 1944 to 1945 he was Deputy Chief at the Psychological Warfare Division, SHAEF.[1]

After the war, he became Managing Director of Time-Life International from 1945-49. He then became publisher of Fortune Magazine. From 1951-52 he served as President of the anti-communist Free Europe Committee. He was a speech writer for Dwight Eisenhower's 1952 presidential campaign. He was assigned to be President Eisenhower's liaison between the newly created CIA and the Pentagon.

From February 1953 to March 1954, Jackson served as adviser to the President on psychological warfare.[2] He worked closely with the Psychological Strategy Board and was a member of the Operations Coordinating Board. He was also a member of the Committee on International Information Activities known, after its chairman William Jackson, as the Jackson Committee.[3]

During 1953 and 1954, C. D. Jackson was key in establishing the Bilderberg Group and ensuring American participation. He attended meetings of the group in 1957, 1958 and 1960.[4]

Jackson was a defender of Radio Free Europe, stating, "Over the years, Radio Free Europe has never, in a single broadcast or leaflet, deviated from its essential policy, and did not broadcast a single program during the recent Polish and Hungarian developments which could be described as an 'incitement' program."[5][6]

He later served in a position at the United Nations. From 1958 to 1960 he served as a speechwriter and White House manager, after the departure of Sherman Adams and the death of John Foster Dulles. In 1960 he was publisher of Life magazine.

Jackson became acquainted with Whittaker Chambers while at Time Inc. He developed a harsh opinion of Chambers as a psychopath. During the first two years of the Eisenhower administration, Jackson urged strong action by the President in dealing with personalities like Senator Joe McCarthy and Chambers. In Jackson's opinion they were damaging the anti-Communist cause with self-serving and unstable behavior. Sherman Adams, Chief of Staff urged a more moderate, political approach which the President followed.

After Abraham Zapruder took the famous film in Dallas on November 22, 1963, Jackson purchased it on behalf of Time/Life to "protect the integrity of the film"...that is, to ensure the truth was kept from the American people. Upon viewing it on Sunday morning he ordered it locked in a vault at the Time/Life building in Manhattan.


  1. "Jackson, C. D. Papers, 1931-1967".
  2. Anthony Leviero (February 17, 1953). "Eisenhower Picks a 'Cold War' Chief". New York Times. p. 16. the appointment of C. D. Jackson, a New York City publisher, as adviser to the President on psychological warfare
  3. "Jackson, C.D.: Records, 1953-54". Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library.
  4. Aubourg, Valerie (2003). "Organizing Atlanticism: The Bilderberg group and the Atlantic Institute, 1952-1963". Intelligence and National Security. 18:2: 92–105. doi:10.1080/02684520412331306760.
  5. Johanna Granville, "Caught With Jam on Our Fingers”: Radio Free Europe and the Hungarian Revolution in 1956,” Diplomatic History, vol. 29, no. 5 (2005): pp. 811-839.
  6. Granville, Johanna (2004). The First Domino: International Decision Making During the Hungarian Crisis of 1956. Texas A & M University Press, College Station, Texas. ISBN 1-58544-298-4.

External links

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