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William Daniel Leahy
Birth: May 6, 1875
Hampton
Franklin County
Iowa, USA
Death: Jul. 20, 1959
Bethesda
Montgomery County
Maryland, USA

United States Navy Fleet Admiral. During World War II, he was Chief of Staff to the President of the United States and presided over the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His awards include 3 Navy Distinguished Service Medals, and the Sampson Medal. Born in Hampton, Iowa, where his father, Michael Leahy was a lawyer, and had been a Captain in the Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. Hoping to attend West Point, Leahy won an appointment to the United States Naval Academy, graduating in 1897. His initial service was with the Asiatic Squadron, and he served in the Philippine Insurrection and the Boxer Rebellion. After this, he served on the USS Tacoma and USS Boston, stationed at the Panama Canal during its construction. From 1907 to 1909, he was an instructor of Physics and Chemistry at the Naval Academy. During the American occupation of Nicaragua in 1912, he was Chief of Staff to the Commander of Naval Forces there. In 1915, he commanded the USS Dolphin, where he developed a close friendship to then-Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt. During World War I, he commanded the troop transport USS Princess Matotika. During the 1920s, he had duty as Director of Officer Personnel and command of the Battleship "USS New Mexico". He was promoted to Rear Admiral on October 14, 1927, and became Chief of Naval Ordnance. From 1937 to 1939, he was Chief of Naval Operations (4 star Admiral), and retired in August 1939. President Roosevelt then appointed him Governor of Puerto Rico and later, as Ambassador to France, until recalled in May 1942. In July 1942, President Roosevelt placed him back on active duty, and made him his Chief of Staff. On December 15, 1944, he was promoted to Fleet Admiral, one of only 4 Naval Officers to ever hold this rank. On March 25, 1949, he retired again, remaining on duty in an advisory capacity in the Office of the Secretary of the Navy, until his death in 1959. (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson) 
 
Family links: 
 Children:
  William Harrington Leahy (1904 - 1986)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington
Arlington County
Virginia, USA
Plot: Section 2, Lot 932, Grid R-31.5
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 01, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 1913
William Daniel Leahy
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William Daniel Leahy
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William Daniel Leahy
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