Bundy was bor in Boston in March 30, 1919. He went to Yale University in 1940 and fought in the US Army during World War II. In 1949, he joined the faculty of Harvard University and was the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences from 1953 to 1961.
Bundy was appointed special assistant to the President for national security affairs (1961-1966) under both Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. As such, Bundy helped Kennedy determine the administration's course of action during the Cuban Missile Crisis. As Johnson's advisor, Bundy recommended increasing American involvement in Vietnam. In 1966, Bundy resigned to become president of the Ford Foundation, which he headed until 1979. By 1968, Bundy had become a proponent of limiting American involvement in Vietnam.