Donovan, William Joseph, 1883-1959

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William Joseph "Wild Bill" Donovan (January 1, 1883 – February 8, 1959) was an American soldier, lawyer, intelligence officer and diplomat, best known for serving as the head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency, during World War II. He is regarded as the founding father of the CIA, and a statue of him stands in the lobby of the CIA headquarters building in Langley, Virginia.

A decorated veteran of World War I, Donovan is the only person to have received all four of the United States' highest awards: the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, and the National Security Medal. He is also a recipient of the Silver Star and Purple Heart, as well as decorations from a number of other nations for his service during both World Wars.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn MacLeish, Archibald, 1892-1982. Papers, 1907-1981 (bulk 1925-1970). Library of Congress
referencedIn Wallace, Henry A. (Henry Agard), 1888-1965. Papers, 1941-1945. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Armstrong, Edwin H. (Edwin Howard), 1890-1954. Edwin H. Armstrong papers, 1890-1972. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Gressman, Eugene, 1917-. Eugene Gressman papers, 1935-1967 [microform] University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Halsey, William Frederick, 1882-1959. Papers William Frederick Halsey, 1907-1959 (bulk 1943-1959). Library of Congress
creatorOf Pace, Robert S.,. Papers of Robert S. Pace [manuscript], 1669-1993 (bulk 1830-1965). University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Boris Souvarine papers, 1915-1984 (inclusive), 1940-1984 (bulk). Houghton Library
creatorOf Kirchhofer, Alfred H. (Alfred Henry), 1892-1985. Papers, 1888-1982 (bulk 1921-1982). Buffalo History Museum, Research Library
referencedIn Joseph Barnes Papers, 1923-1970 Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn Lessing J. Rosenwald Papers, 1891-1979, (bulk 1932-1979) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Clark, Edward Tracy, 1878-1935. Papers of Edward Tracy Clark, 1923-1935 (bulk 1929-1935). Library of Congress
referencedIn Dunlop, Richard. The Richard Dunlop papers, 1916-1987. U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center
referencedIn Arthur Bliss Lane papers, 1904-1957 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Edward Tracy Clark Correspondence and Reports, 1923-1935, (bulk 1929-1935) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Records of the Office of Strategic Services, 1919 - 2002. Personnel Files of the Office of Strategic Services, 1942 - ca. 1962. National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Arthur J. Goldberg Papers, 1793-1990, (bulk 1941-1985) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Barnes, Joseph, 1907-1970. Joseph Barnes papers, 1907-1970, 1923-1970. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer. 1860 - 1985. Motion Picture Films from the Army Library Copy Collection. 1964 - 1980. Dedication of the Cambridge American Cemetery, England National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Eugene Gressman papers, 1935-1967 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn McFadden, Thomas J., 1900-. Reminiscences of Thomas J. McFadden : oral history, 1979. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Records of the Army Staff. 1903 - 2009. Photographs of U.S. and Foreign Military Personnel, Defense Department and Other Government Officials, Royalty, and Heads of State. 1964-1974. National Archives at College Park
referencedIn President's Secretary's File (Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration) Collection, 1933-1945 Franklin D. Roosevelt Library
referencedIn Raichle, Frank G., 1898-. Reminiscences of Frank G. Raichle : oral history, 1979. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Records of Boundary and Claims Commissions and Arbitrations. 1716 - 1994. Records Relating to the Santa Ysabel Cases National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Paramount Pictures, Inc., Collection. 1951 - 1951. Motion Picture Newsreel Films. 10/1941 - 3/1957. PARAMOUNT NEWS [FEB. 6] National Archives at College Park
creatorOf Aaronsburg Story. Correspondence : with Marian Anderson, 1953. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Nathan Sinai papers, 1912-1966 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer. 1860 - 1985. Motion Picture Films from the Army Library Copy Collection. 1964 - 1980. Dedication of cemetery of St. Laurant, St. Laurent, France ; Dedication of the Epinal American Cemetery and Memorial, Epinal, France National Archives at College Park
creatorOf Aiton, Arthur S. (Arthur Scott), 1894-1955. Arthur S. Aiton papers, 1922-1959. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn The Infantry - 42nd Division papers, 1917-1992. U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center
referencedIn "March of Time" Collection. 1934 - 1951. March of Time Documentary/Newsreel Films Relating to U.S. History, Government, Politics, Culture, and International Affairs. 1935 - 1953. CRISIS IN THE ATLANTIC--1941 National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Goldberg, Arthur J. Arthur J. Goldberg papers, 1793-1990 (bulk 1941-1985). Library of Congress
creatorOf Donovan, William J. (William Joseph), 1883-1959. Papers, 1913-1920. Buffalo History Museum, Research Library
referencedIn World War II collection, 1940-1946. Princeton University Library
referencedIn Gressman, Eugene, 1917-2010. Eugene Gressman papers, 1935-1967. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Archibald MacLeish Papers, 1907-1981, (bulk 1925-1970) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Robert E. Sherwood papers, 1917-1968 (inclusive), 1934-1955 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Thayer, Robert Helyer, 1901-1984. Robert Helyer Thayer papers, 1920-1980 (bulk 1930-1964). Library of Congress
referencedIn Records of the Office of Strategic Services. 1919 - 2002. Training Films, Instructional Films, and Film Reports Relating to World War II. 1941 - 1945. OSS CAMERA REPORT; CHINA, BURMA, INDIA National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Teitelbaum, David, 1906-. Reminiscences of David Teitelbaum : oral history, 1979. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer. 1860 - 1985. Historical Films. 1914 - 1936. REVIEWS OF HOMECOMING TROOPS [1918-1919] National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Civil Service Reform Association (New York, N.Y.). Civil Service Reform Association records, 1880-1947. Cornell University Library
referencedIn William J. Donovan Memorial Foundation. William J. Donovan Memorial Foundation records, 1980-2002. Stanford University, Hoover Institution Library
referencedIn Donovan Leisure Newton an Irvine project : oral history, 1979-1980. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Edward Streeter Papers, 1909-1976 Fales Library & Special Collections
referencedIn Alexander G. Ruthven Papers, 1901-1961, 1906-1951 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn "March of Time" Collection. 1934 - 1951. March of Time Documentary/Newsreel Films Relating to U.S. History, Government, Politics, Culture, and International Affairs. 1935 - 1953. MEN IN WASHINGTON--1942 National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer. 1860 - 1985. Motion Picture Films from the Army Library Copy Collection. 1964 - 1980. Dedication of the Brittany American Cemetery, St. James, France ; Admiral Arthur William Radford, Rhine Main Air Base, Germany National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Robert B. Anderson Papers. 1933 - 1989. Photographs Dwight D. Eisenhower Library
referencedIn President's Secretary's File (Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration) Collection, 1933-1945 Franklin D. Roosevelt Library
creatorOf Donovan, William J. (William Joseph), 1883-1959,. Nuremberg trials archive, 1933-1946. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Donovan, William J. (William Joseph), 1883-1959. The William J. Donovan papers, ca. 1910-1960. U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center
referencedIn Rodney Gilbert Papers, 1910-1968 Syracuse University. Library. Special Collections Research Center
referencedIn Ford, J. mss., 1906-1976 Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
referencedIn Lane, Arthur Bliss, 1894-1956. Arthur Bliss Lane papers, 1904-1957 (inclusive). Yale University Library
creatorOf Hunt, Gertrude, 1890 or 1-1968. Autographed invitation to Buffalo Celebrity Home-Coming Night, 1955 Jan. 27. Buffalo History Museum, Research Library
referencedIn Suhling, William Gerhard, 1898-1973. Papers of William Gerhard Suhling II [manuscript], 1906-1973. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Malone, Philip R. Autograph albums [manuscript], ca. 1925-1935. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Edwin H. Armstrong Papers, 1886-1982, [Bulk Dates: 1912-1954] Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
creatorOf Donovan, William J. (William Joseph), 1883-1959. William J. Donovan photograph collection. U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center
referencedIn Smith, Jane, 1894-. Reminiscences of Jane Smith : oral history, 1980. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn William Frederick Halsey Papers, 1907-1959, (bulk 1943-1959) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Record Group 263: Records of the Central Intelligence Agency, 1894-2002. Moving Images Relating to Intelligence and International Relations, 1947-1984. Donovan Interview. 1962. National Archives at College Park
creatorOf Donovan, William J. (William Joseph), 1883-1959. William J. Donovan papers, 1775-1790. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn William J. Donovan Memorial Foundation records, 1980-2002 Hoover Institution Archives.
referencedIn McFadden, Thomas Joseph, 1900-. Reminiscences of Thomas Joseph McFadden : oral history, 1979. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Wallace Rankin Deuel Papers, 1905-1971, (bulk 1939-1954) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Robinson, Geroid Tanquary, 1892-1971. Papers, 1915-1965. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Casey, William J. Remarks at the award of the Donovan Medal to the Prime Minister of Great Britain Margaret Thatcher, 28 Feb. 1981 / by William J. Casey. United States. Central Intelligence Agency
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer. 1860 - 1985. Motion Picture Films from the Army Library Copy Collection. 1964 - 1980. DEDICATION OF THE NORMANDY-AMERICAN CEMETERY AND MEMORIAL, ST. LAURENT, FRANCE National Archives at College Park
creatorOf Goodyear, A. Conger (Anson Conger), 1877-1964. Papers, 1683-1964 (bulk 1885-1964). Buffalo History Museum, Research Library
referencedIn Theoharis, Athan G.,. FBI Investigation and Surveillance Records, 1919-[ongoning]. Marquette University Raynor Memorial Library, John P. Raynor Library
referencedIn Arthur Scott Aiton papers, 1922-1959 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
creatorOf Buffalo (N.Y.). Division of Vital Statistics. Executive Dept. Birth certificate of William J. Donovan, 1883 Jan. 2. Buffalo History Museum, Research Library
referencedIn MacLeish, Archibald, 1892-1982. Papers of Archibald MacLeish, 1907-1981 (bulk 1925-1970). Library of Congress
referencedIn 3rd Ind. [Endorsement] from William J. Donovan. 1918. National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Records of the Adjutant General's Office. 1905 - 1981. General Records. 1919 - 1978. Letter from President Franklin Roosevelt to Secretary of War Henry Stimson National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Joseph Clark Grew papers, 1904-1948 Houghton Library
referencedIn Allen W. Dulles Papers, 1845-1971, 1918-1969 Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections.Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. Public Policy Papers.
referencedIn Oswald Garrison Villard papers, 1872-1949 Houghton Library
referencedIn Withrow, James R., 1911-1987. Reminiscences of James R. Withrow, Jr. : oral history, 1980. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Dulles, Allen, 1893-1969. Allen W. Dulles papers, 1845-1971 (bulk 1918-1969) Princeton University Library
referencedIn Lumbard, J. Edward (Joseph Edward), 1901-1999. Reminiscences of J. Edward Lumbard : oral history, 1979. Nolan, Norton & Company, Incorporated
referencedIn Doering, Otto C. (Otto Charles), Jr. Otto C. Doering, Jr. papers, 1946-[ca. 1965]. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Sinai, Nathan, 1894-2000. Nathan Sinai papers, 1912-1966 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Murphy, Samuel W., 1925-. Reminiscences of Samuel W. Murphy : oral history, 1979. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Streeter, Edward, 1891-. Papers, 1905-1976 (inclusive). 1950-1970 (bulk). Churchill County Museum
referencedIn Webster, Bethuel M. (Bethuel Matthew), 1900-1989. Reminiscences of Bethuel Matthew Webster : oral history, 1979. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Papers, 1879-1926 (inclusive), 1916-1922 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Records of the Office of Strategic Services, 1919-2002. Audio Recordings, ca. 1940 - ca. 1945. NATURE OF M.O. [I.E., MORALE OPERATIONS]. Set II, No. 2. 9/2/1945. National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Alexander Woollcott correspondence, ca. 1856-1943 (inclusive), 1920-1943 (bulk). Houghton Library
creatorOf Congress of Europe (1948 : Hague, Netherlands). [Collection of ephemera on European federation]. Stanford University Libraries
referencedIn Robert Helyer Thayer Papers, 1920-1980, (bulk 1930-1964) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
Relation Name
associatedWith Aaronsburg Story. corporateBody
associatedWith Aiton, Arthur S. (Arthur Scott), 1894-1955. person
associatedWith Alderman, Sidney S. (Sidney Sherrill), b. 1892. person
associatedWith Amen, John H. person
associatedWith Armstrong, Edwin H. (Edwin Howard), 1890-1954. person
associatedWith Barnes, Joseph, 1907-1970. person
associatedWith Best, Werner, 1903-1989. person
associatedWith Bormann, Martin, 1900-1945. person
associatedWith Buffalo (N.Y.). Division of Vital Statistics. Executive Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith Casey, William J. person
associatedWith Civil Service Reform Association (New York, N.Y.). corporateBody
correspondedWith Clark, Edward Tracy, 1878-1935. person
associatedWith Columbia University corporateBody
correspondedWith Deuel, Wallace Rankin, 1905-1974 person
associatedWith Doering, Otto C. (Otto Charles), Jr. person
associatedWith Dönitz, Karl, 1891-1980. person
associatedWith Donovan, James B. (James Britt), 1916- person
correspondedWith Dresel, Ellis Loring, 1865-1925 person
correspondedWith Dulles, Allen, 1893-1969. person
correspondedWith Dunlop, Richard. person
associatedWith Ford, John, 1895-1973 person
associatedWith Frank, Hans, 1900-1946. person
associatedWith Frick, Wilhelm, 1877-1946. person
associatedWith Fritzsche, Hans, 1900-1953. person
associatedWith Funk, Walter. person
associatedWith Gilbert, Rodney, b. 1889 person
associatedWith Goebbels, Joseph, 1897-1945. person
correspondedWith Goldberg, Arthur J. person
correspondedWith Goldberg, Arthur J. person
associatedWith Goodyear, A. Conger (Anson Conger), 1877-1964. person
associatedWith Göring, Hermann, 1893-1946. person
associatedWith Gressman, Eugene, 1917-2010. person
associatedWith Grew, Joseph C. (Joseph Clark), 1880-1965 person
associatedWith Halsey, William Frederick, 1882-1959. person
associatedWith Hess, Rudolf, 1894-1987. person
associatedWith Himmler, Heinrich, 1900-1945. person
associatedWith Hitler, Adolf, 1889-1945. person
associatedWith Hunt, Gertrude, 1890 or 1-1968. person
associatedWith International Military Tribunal. corporateBody
associatedWith Jackson, Robert Houghwout, 1892-1954. person
associatedWith Jodl, Alfred, 1890-1946. person
associatedWith Kaltenbrunner, Ernst. person
associatedWith Kaplan, Sidney J. person
associatedWith Keitel, Wilhelm, 1882-1946. person
associatedWith Kellermann, Henry J. person
associatedWith Kirchhofer, Alfred H. (Alfred Henry), 1892-1985. person
associatedWith Krupp, Gustav. person
associatedWith Lane, Arthur Bliss, 1894-1956. person
associatedWith Ley, Robert, d. 1945. person
associatedWith Lumbard, J. Edward (Joseph Edward), 1901-1999. person
associatedWith MacArthur, Douglas, 1880-1964. person
correspondedWith MacLeish, Archibald, 1892-1982. person
associatedWith Malone, Philip R. person
associatedWith McFadden, Thomas J., 1900- person
associatedWith McFadden, Thomas Joseph, 1900- person
associatedWith Murphy, Samuel W., 1925- person
associatedWith Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei. corporateBody
associatedWith Neumann, Franz L. (Franz Leopold), 1900-1954. person
associatedWith Neurath, Konstantin, Freiherr von, 1873-1956. person
associatedWith Nordon, Otto N. person
associatedWith O'Brian, Hamlin, Donovan & Goodyear (Buffalo, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Pace, Robert S., person
associatedWith Papen, Franz von, 1879-1969. person
associatedWith Raeder, Erich, 1876-1960. person
associatedWith Raichle, Frank G., 1898- person
associatedWith Ribbentrop, Joachim von, 1893-1946. person
associatedWith Robinson, Geroid Tanquary, 1892-1971. person
associatedWith Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945. person
associatedWith Roosevelt Memorial Association. corporateBody
associatedWith Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919. person
associatedWith Rosenberg, Alfred, 1893-1946. person
correspondedWith Rosenwald, Lessing J. (Lessing Julius), 1891-1979 person
associatedWith Ruthven, Alexander Grant, 1882- person
associatedWith Sauckel, Fritz, 1894-1946. person
associatedWith Schacht, Hjalmar Horace Greeley, 1877-1970. person
associatedWith Schirach, Baldur von, 1907-1974. person
associatedWith Schlabrendorff, Fabian von, 1907-1980. person
associatedWith Seyss-Inquart, Arthur, 1892-1946. person
correspondedWith Sherwood, Robert E. (Robert Emmet), 1896-1955 person
associatedWith Sinai, Nathan, 1894-2000. person
associatedWith Smith, Jane, 1894- person
correspondedWith Souvarine, Boris. person
associatedWith Speer, Albert, 1905-1981. person
associatedWith Storey, Robert G. (Robert Gerald), 1893-1981. person
associatedWith Streeter, Edward, 1891- person
associatedWith Streicher, Julius, 1885-1946. person
associatedWith Suhling, William Gerhard, 1898-1973. person
associatedWith Taylor, Telford. person
associatedWith Teitelbaum, David, 1906- person
correspondedWith Thayer, Robert Helyer, 1901-1984. person
associatedWith Theoharis, Athan G., person
associatedWith United States. Army corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Army. American Expeditionary Forces corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Army. Infantry Division, 42nd. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Army. New York Infantry Regiment, 69th (1861-1865) corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Continental Army. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Office of Chief of Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Office of Strategic Services. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Office of Strategic Services. Detachment 101 corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Office of Strategic Services. Research and Analysis Branch. corporateBody
correspondedWith Villard, Oswald Garrison, 1872-1949 person
associatedWith Wallace, Henry A. (Henry Agard), 1888-1965. person
associatedWith Webster, Bethuel M. (Bethuel Matthew), 1900-1989. person
associatedWith William J. Donovan Memorial Foundation. corporateBody
associatedWith Withrow, James R., 1911-1987. person
correspondedWith Woollcott, Alexander, 1887-1943 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Washington, D. C. DC US
Buffalo NY US
Subject
World War, 1914-1918--Photographs
World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives
Ambassadors--Archives
World War, 1939-1945--Press coverage
World War, 1939-1945--Atrocities
World War, 1939-1945--Moral and ethical aspects
Military intelligence
Nuremberg Trial of Major German War Criminals, Nuremberg, Germany, 1945-1946
World War, 1939-1945--Concentration camps
World War, 1914-1918--Campaigns
Law offices
Law--History--20th century
World War, 1939-1945--Photographs
World War, 1939-1945--Military intelligence
Occupation
Collector
Lawyers
Diplomats
Intelligence officers
Soldiers
Function

Person

Birth 1883-01-01

Death 1959-02-08

Male

Americans

English

Information

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Ark ID: w6st832d

SNAC ID: 12675849