Cyrus Roberts Vance (March 27, 1917 – January 12, 2002) was an American lawyer and United States Secretary of State under President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1980. Prior to that position he was the Secretary of the Army and the Deputy Secretary of Defense.
As Secretary of State, Vance approached foreign policy with an emphasis on negotiation over conflict and a special interest in arms reduction. In April 1980, Vance resigned in protest of Operation Eagle Claw, the secret mission to rescue American hostages in Iran. He was succeeded by Edmund Muskie.
Vance was the cousin (and adoptive son) of 1924 Democratic presidential candidate and lawyer John W. Davis. He was the father of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr.
Vance was born in Clarksburg, West Virginia. He graduated from Kent School in 1935 and earned a bachelor's degree in 1939 from Yale University, where he was a member of the secret society Scroll and Key. He also earned three varsity letters in ice hockey at Yale. He graduated from Yale Law School in 1942.
Vance served in the United States Navy as a gunnery officer on the destroyer USS Hale (DD-642) until 1946, and then joined the law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett