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Mike Mansfield

Michael Joseph Mansfield (March 16, 1903 - October 5, 2001) was a Senator from Montana. An early supporter of Ngo Dinh Diem, Mansfield had a change of heart on the Vietnam issue after a visit in 1962. When he reported to President Kennedy on December 2, 1962 that US money given to Diem's government was being squandered and that the US should avoid further involvement in Vietnam. He was thus the first American official to not make an optimistic public comment on the war's progress. During the Johnson and Nixon administrations, Mansfield became a frequent and vocal critic of US involvement in the Vietnam war. He retired from the Senate in 1976, and was appointed Ambassador to Japan by Jimmy Carter, a role he retained during the Reagan administration. He retired in 1989, and died on October 5, 2001.