William Daniel Leahy

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Leahy, William Daniel

 

Born May 6, 1875, in Hampton, Iowa; died July 20, 1959, in Bethesda, Md. Admiral of the fleet of the USA (1944).

Leahy graduated from the Naval Academy (1897) and participated in the Spanish-American War (1898), in the suppression of the Boxer uprising in China (1900–01), and in the occupation of Nicaragua (1912) and Haiti (1916). He held responsible positions in the US Navy in the 1920’s and 1930’s and served as chief of Naval Operations in 1937–39. Leahy retired in 1939 and served as governor of Puerto Rico and US ambassador to the Vichy government. From July 1942 to 1949 he was the chief of staff of the supreme commander in chief of the US armed forces (Presidents F. Roosevelt and H. Truman) and simultaneously chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; he participated in many international conferences during World War II (1939–45). Leahy was one of the first three American admirals to receive the title of admiral of the fleet, which is the highest naval rank. He retired in 1949.