George Kennan was born on February 16, 1904 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He went to Princeton, and then applied to the Foreign Service. Political analyst, advisor and diplomat, George Kennan was in charge of long-range planning for the State Department following World War II. He developed the concept of "containment" as a strategy to keep Soviet influence from expanding and maintain the status quo.
Kennan believed that the Soviet Union would eventually have to relinquish its harsh grip on its citizenry and would change its foreign policies if the West could maintain a firm and consistent posture of opposition. He also served as Ambassador to the USSR and to Yugoslavia.
He was also a widely sought-after lecturer on foreign policy issues. At age 85, he received the Medal of Freedom.