Born: October 8, 1838, Salem, Indiana.
Died: July 1, 1905, Newbury, New Hampshire.
Buried: Lakeview Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio.
Hay graduated from Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, in 1858, then studied law with future American president Abraham Lincoln.
He became an attorney in Springfield, Illinois, in 1861. He was Lincoln’s assistant private secretary until Lincoln’s death in 1865. Hay then served as secretary of the American legation in Paris (1865–67), Vienna (1867–69), and Madrid (1869–70).
Upon returning home, he became an editorial writer at the New York Herald Tribune.
Hay re-entered public service as First Assistant Secretary of State (1879–81), and upon William McKinley’s inauguration, was appointed American ambassador to Britain.
In 1898, he became Secretary of State, holding that post until his death. He is perhaps best remembered for his
Open Door policy toward China.