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Major General William F. Burns (b. 1932 in Scranton PA and d. 2021 in Carlisle, PA) grew up in a number of places during the time of the great depression and spent much of his childhood living in the greater Philadelphia area. General Burns attended middle school, high school, and college in Philadelphia. He attended La Salle College High School and La Salle College (now La Salle University), graduating from La Salle in 1954. He was part of the ROTC during college and joined the Army after graduation around the time that he married his wife to whom he is still married. General Burns went on to serve as a diplomat to the Soviet Union during the cold war, and participated in the SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty) talks as the chief U.S. diplomat. Among other notable highlights of his career, General Burns served as the director of the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency from 1988 to 1989 and served as the first U. S. special envoy to denuclearization talks with various former Soviet Socialist Republics. General Burns spoke extensively about his early life and college years, which covered material of biographical and cultural interest. Topics touched upon in the concluding sections of the interview deal with his later career. Larger issues concerning military and diplomatic history will need to be addressed more closely in subsequent projects. (see 2011 interview by Brian Carlson)


The transcript has omissions and should be compared to the audio recording of the interview.

Interview of Major General William F.pdf (400 kB)
Transcript of Interview

Audio File 1.wav (124708 kB)
Audio Recording of Interview Part 1

Audio File 2.wav (57571 kB)
Audio Recording of Interview Part 2

Audio File 3.wav (18608 kB)
Audio Recording of Interview Part 3

Audio File 4.wav (68941 kB)
Audio Recording of Interview Part 4

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