Donovan, William (Bill) Joseph
(1883-1959)
   William (Bill) Donovan was born in Buffalo, New York. He attended St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute, Niagara University, and Columbia University, where he graduated with an A.B. in 1905 and an LL.B. in 1907. He initially worked as a lawyer in Buffalo. In 1912, he formed and led a cavalry unit that served in the border action in Mexico in 1916, and during World War I he served with the 69th Infantry and was wounded several times and awarded the Medal of Honor and Distinguished Service Cross for his bravery.
   After the war, Donovan resumed his legal practice but in 1922 was appointed U.S. attorney general for New York’s Western District. He campaigned unsuccessfully as the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor of the state. He was also unsuccessful when he ran for the governorship in 1932. In 1924, Donovan was appointed assistant attorney general, a post he held until 1929 when he began to practice law in New York City. In 1940, he was sent to England by Frank Knox to report on Great Britain’s ability to continue to fight against Nazi Germany in World War II. In July 1941, he was appointed as coordinator of information to gather intelligence, and on 13 June 1942 this became the Office of Strategic Services with Donovan as its head. Donovan was influential in the decision to establish the Central Intelligence Agency in 1947. In 1953, Donovan was appointed as ambassador to Thailand, but he was forced to resign due to poor health in 1954.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

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  • Donovan, William Joseph — 1883–1959    ‘Wild Bill’ Donovan was a US lawyer who was head of the OSS (Office of Strategic Services), the forerunner of the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency). In 1940 Donovan was the unofficial observer for the Secretary of the Navy, KNOX, in… …   Who’s Who in World War Two

  • Donovan,William Joseph — Don·o·van (dŏnʹə vən), William Joseph. Known as “Wild Bill.” 1883 1959. American army officer and public official who founded and directed (1942 1945) the Office of Strategic Services, an intelligence gathering agency that was a forerunner of the …   Universalium

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  • William Joseph Donovan — William J. Donovan William Joseph Donovan (* 1. Januar 1883 in Buffalo, New York; † 8. Februar 1959 in Washington D.C.) war ein US amerikanischer Jurist und Geheimdienst Mitarbeiter. Ab 1941 war er Geheimdienst Koordinator im Stab von …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • William Joseph Donovan — Infobox Military Person name= William Joseph Donovan born= birth date|1883|1|1 died= death date and age|1959|2|8|1883|1|1 placeofbirth= Buffalo, New York placeofdeath= Washington, D.C. placeofburial= Arlington National Cemetery caption= nickname …   Wikipedia

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