Donovan, James B. (James Britt), 1916-1970

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James Britt Donovan (February 29, 1916 – January 19, 1970) was an American lawyer and United States Navy officer in the Office of Scientific Research and Development and the Office of Strategic Services (OSS, predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency), ultimately becoming general counsel of the OSS, and an international diplomatic negotiator.

Donovan is widely known for negotiating the 1960–1962 exchange of captured American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers and American student Frederic Pryor for Soviet spy Rudolf Abel, and for negotiating the 1962 release and return of 9,703 prisoners held by Cuba after the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion.

Donovan was president of Pratt Institute from Jan. 1, 1968 until his death. He entered the Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn for treatment of influenza, but suffered from a heart attack, succombing to his illness on January 19, 1970. Donovan was buried at Saint Agnes Cemetery in Lake Placid, New York.

Donovan was portrayed by Tom Hanks in the 2015 feature film Bridge of Spies.

Relation Name
associatedWith Abel, Rudolf, 1903-1971. person
associatedWith Abel', Rudol'f Ivanovich, 1902- person
associatedWith Donovan, William J. (William Joseph), 1883-1959, person
associatedWith Ford, John, 1895-1973 person
associatedWith Lewis, Betty Jessel. person
associatedWith Lewis, Robert Foster. person
associatedWith New York (N.Y.). Board of Education. corporateBody
associatedWith Powers, Francis Gary, 1929-1977. person
associatedWith Tompkins, William F., 1913- person
associatedWith United States. Army. Office of the chief signal officer. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Central Intelligence Agency corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Department of State corporateBody
associatedWith United States. National Archives and Records Administration corporateBody
memberOf United States. Navy corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Office of Scientific Research and Development. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Office of Strategic Services. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Brooklyn NY US
Federal Republic of Germany 00 DE
Brooklyn NY US
Bronx NY US
Republic of Cuba 00 CU
Education New York (N.Y.)
Nuremberg Trial of Major German War Criminals, 1945-1946
Nuremberg Trial of Major German War Criminals, Nuremberg, Germany, 1945-1946
War crime trials
World War, 1939-1945
World War, 1939-1945
Government attorneys
Naval Officer


Birth 1916-02-29

Death 1970-01-19






Ark ID: w62r4tbz

SNAC ID: 53232051