John Bartlow Martin was an American diplomat. He was author of 15 books, Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, and speechwriter and confidant to many American Democratic politicians including Adlai Stevenson, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Hubert Humphrey.
Martin was born in Hamilton, Ohio to John, a carpenter and contractor, and Laura Bartlow Martin, and as a young child moved to Indianapolis, Indiana. Martin grew up in an unhappy childhood, plagued by the death of his two brothers. He graduated from high school at age 16 and was expelled in his first year from DePauw University, but later graduated there with a degree in journalism. With the impact of his dark childhood and onset of the Great Depression, Martin's early journalism career focused on deep concern for the underprivileged and forgotten, such as criminals, the impoverished, the working class, and the mentally ill. His work appeared in such publications as Saturday Evening Post, LIFE, Colliers, Atlantic Monthly, and Harper's. He won the highest magazine publishing honor, the Benjamin Franklin Magazine Award, for four consecutive years. Martin was hired in 1952 as a speechwriter by Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson, and later worked on the John F. Kennedy presidential campaign. He served as American Ambassador to the Dominican Republic from 1962 to 1964. Martin arrived shortly after the assassination of Rafael Trujillo and became very close with their new president Juan Bosch. Martin resigned shortly after the John F. Kennedy assassination, but returned to the Dominican Republic as a special envoy in 1965 during American invasion dispatched by President Johnson. He died in Highland Park, Ill. in 1987 of throat cancer.