Frank Charles Carlucci III GCIH (Order of Prince Henry)(October 18, 1930 – June 3, 2018) was an American politician and diplomat who served as the United States Secretary of Defense from 1987 to 1989 in the administration of President Ronald Reagan. He was the first Italian American to serve in that position. Carlucci served in a variety of senior-level governmental positions, including Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity in the Nixon administration, Deputy Director of the CIA in the Carter administration, and Deputy Secretary of Defense and National Security Advisor in the Reagan administration.
Carlucci was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the son of Roxann (née Bacon) and Frank Charles Carlucci, Jr., an insurance broker. His father was of Italian and Swiss descent. His grandfather was from Santomenna, Italy.
Carlucci graduated with an A.B. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in 1952 after completing a 153-page senior thesis, "Two American Businesses in Costa Rica."
In 1961, Carlucci was the second secretary at the US Embassy in the Congo. During that time, Patrice Lumumba, the first prime minister of independent Congo, was killed in January 1961 during the Congo Crisis.
According to subsequently-released US government documents, US President Dwight Eisenhower ordered the CIA to eliminate Lumumba. Minutes of an August 1960 National Security Council meeting confirm that Eisenhower told CIA chief Allen Dulles to "eliminate" the Congolese leader. The official notetaker, Robert H. Johnson, testified to that before the Senate Intelligence Committee in 1975. However, subsequent investigations indicate that Lumumba was ultimately executed by an order of a political rival, Moïse Tshombe, who led the State of Katanga, with Belgian assistance.
According to Robert B. Oakley, Carlucci befriended the future Congo Prime Minister Cyrille Adoula in 1959-1960, who was then a Congolese Member of Parliament. According to James Schlesinger, Adoula began a White House meeting with President John F. Kennedy with the question "Où est Carlucci?" ("Where is Carlucci?"). Kennedy first responded, "Who the hell is Carlucci?" He then sent Dean Rusk to find him. Oakley added that that instance was "the beginning of Carlucci's meteoric rise!"
Carlucci became Ambassador to Portugal and served in that position from 1974 to 1977. He was remembered in Portugal among the winners of the coup of 25 November 1975. The Carlucci American International School of Lisbon, the oldest American school in the Iberian Peninsula, is named after him.
Carlucci was United States Deputy Secretary of Defense from 1981 to 1983. He served as United States National Security Advisor from 1986 to 1987, where he appointed Colin Powell, later his successor, as US Deputy National Security Advisor.
Carlucci became US Secretary of Defense in 1987 after Caspar Weinberger resigned for being involved in the Iran-Contra Affair. Carlucci served in that position until the end of the Reagan administration, on January 20, 1989.
He had business interests in the following companies: Ashland Global Holdings, General Dynamics, Westinghouse, Neurogen, CB Commercial Real Estate, Nortel, BDM International, Quaker Oats, and Kaman.