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Robert Foust papers on Senator Claiborne Pell

Biographical and Historical Note

Born in New York City, Claiborne deBorda Pell (November 22, 1918 - January 1, 2009) was the son of Matilda Bigelow Pell and Herbert Claiborne Pell, Jr. His father had an extensive list of political service including a congressional position for New York (1919-1921), Minister to Portugal (1937-1941), Minister to Hungary (1941-1942), and a representative at the United States War Crimes Commission (1943-1945).

Claibrone Pell graduated from St. Georges High School in Middletown, Rhode Island before receiving a Bachelor of Arts in History at Princeton University in 1940. From 1941 to 1945 Claiborne Pell served in the United States Coast Guard and then continued on the United States Coast Guard Reserve until 1978. He received a Master's degree in International Relations from Columbia University in 1946.

In December of 1944, Claiborne Pell married Nuala O'Donnell Pell and they had four children: Herbert Claiborne Pell III, Christopher Thomas Hartford Pell, Nuala Dallas Pell, and Julia Lorillard Wampage Pell.

Some of his early political achievements include his participation in the United Nations Conference on International Organization in 1945 that created the United Nations Charter and his service as a State Department Foreign Service Officer from 1945 to 1952.

From 1961 to 1997, Claiborne Pell served as a United States Senator from Rhode Island. He participated in the Committee on Rules and Administration, the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Labor and Welfare Committee, the Subcommittee of Education, the Joint Congressional Committee on Libraries and Museums, and the Special Committee on Aging. Senator Pell was a member of the Executive Committee on the Environment and Energy Study while also contributing to the World Conference on the Environment in 1972 and the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development in 1992. Along with many other achievements, Senator Pell enacted environmental and educational legislation, including the Pell Grants.

After retiring from the Senate, Claiborne Pell spent the majority of his final years in Newport, Rhode Island before passing away on January 1, 2009. He was interred in St. Columba's Episcopal Church cemetery in Middletown, Rhode Island.

Robert "Bob" Foust is from Arlington, Virginia. He studied Political Science at Upsala College in East Orange, New Jersey until 1964. In 1971, he completed his Master's degree in International Relations at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Foust also attended the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. Robert Foust began working for the Senate in the 1960s before becoming a staff member for Senator Claiborne Pell from 1970 to 1989. He was a Legislative Assistance and then a Legislative Director as his career progressed in the Senate. In 1991, he joined the staff of United States Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota as his Senior Policy Advisor. Throughout his career, Foust oversaw the intern programs for both Senator Claiborne Pell and Senator Kent Conrad. He also assisted in legislation on education and foreign affairs, including the Rural Education Achievement Program. Additionally, he was a strong advocate for veteran facilities. In 2005, he retired from his position as a Chief Executive Officer and became an adjunct professor at George Washington University from 2006 until 2008.