Francis B. Loomis

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Francis Butler Loomis
Francis B Loomis (1903).jpg
25th United States Assistant Secretary of State
In office
January 7, 1903 – October 10, 1905
Preceded by David Jayne Hill
Succeeded by Robert Bacon
Personal details
Born July 27, 1861
Marietta, Ohio, U.S.
Died August 4, 1948 (aged 87)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Political party Republican
Alma mater Marietta College
Profession Journalist, Editor, Politician

Francis Butler Loomis (July 27, 1861 – August 4, 1948) served as the United States Ambassador to Venezuela from 1897 to 1901 and the United States Ambassador to Portugal from 1901 to 1902. He was the United States Assistant Secretary of State from 1903 to 1905 when he was appointed as the acting United States Secretary of State. His son was Major general Francis B. Loomis Jr.


He was born on July 27, 1861.

He began his career as a newspaperman in his hometown of Marietta, Ohio, editing the Marietta Leader while a student at Marietta College. A year following his graduation in 1883, Loomis became a reporter for the New York Tribune and later assumed a campaign press relations position. He returned to Ohio to serve as state librarian for two years (from 1885 to 1887).

It was during the administration of President Benjamin Harrison that Loomis first entered government service as consul at Saint-Étienne, and at Grenoble, France, until 1893. For the next three years from 1893 to 1896, Loomis returned briefly to journalism as editor of the Cincinnati Daily Tribune. President William McKinley appointed him Ambassador to Venezuela in 1897 and to Portugal in 1901.

A year later, he was recalled to Washington, DC and was appointed Assistant Secretary of State. On the death of Secretary John Hay, he served as acting Secretary of State briefly in 1905. During his State Department tenure, he became associated with the reorganization of the American Red Cross, serving as a charter member. His commissions included final negotiations which resulted in the acquisition of the Panama Canal Zone, service as special ambassador to France to receive the body of John Paul Jones and Special Envoy Extraordinary to Japan, arranging the visit of the U.S. fleet to that country in 1908. Shortly before World War I Loomis returned to private business as foreign trade adviser to the Standard Oil Company serving until retirement.

He died on August 4, 1948 in the San Francisco Bay area in California.

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Political offices
Preceded by
David Jayne Hill
United States Assistant Secretary of State
January 7, 1903 – October 10, 1905
Succeeded by
Robert Bacon
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Allen Thomas
United States Minister to Venezuela
July 8, 1897 – April 8, 1901
Succeeded by
Herbert W. Bowen
Preceded by
John N. Irwin
United States Minister to Portugal
June 17, 1901 – September 16, 1902
Succeeded by
Charles Page Bryan