In June 1891 fellow Harvard alum and DKE Fraternity Brother Robert Todd Lincoln, son of president Abraham Lincoln and then serving as the U.S. minister to the Court of St. James's in London, secured for Larz Anderson his first post in the American diplomatic corps as second secretary of the American legation in London. After three years in London, Anderson was appointed first secretary of the American embassy in Rome in 1894 and served for a short time as charge d'affaires, until he resigned in 1897. He married Isabel Weld Perkins in 1897. In 1898 he volunteered to serve with the U.S. Army during the Spanish-American War. He was commissioned a captain and served for four months as an assistant adjutant general at Camp Alger in northern Virginia.
Anderson returned to the diplomatic corps in 1911 as U.S. minister to Belgium, serving from October, 1911, until September, 1912, when he was appointed ambassador to Japan. He held this post for only 10 weeks, from his arrival in Tokyo on December 28, 1912, until he left Japan to return to the U.S. on March 16, 1913, resigning when the Republican administration of William Howard Taft was replaced by the Democratic administration of Woodrow Wilson.
Larz Anderson retired from the diplomatic corps in 1913. He later recalled that he was "the first American to rise all the way through the diplomatic ranks from the lowest position to the highest". Larz Anderson and his wife, Isabel, spent the next twenty-five years traveling, collecting, and supporting charitable causes.
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