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 Franklin Woolman D'Olier

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Franklin Woolman D'Olier

  • Birth 28 Apr 1877 Burlington, Burlington County, New Jersey, USA
  • Death 10 Dec 1953 Morristown, Morris County, New Jersey, USA
  • Burial Burlington, Burlington County, New Jersey, USA
  • Memorial ID 2942

National Commander American Legion. Born in Burlington, New Jersey the son of Annie Woolman and William D'Olier, he graduated Princeton University in 1898. During the First World War, he served as a Quartermaster for the American Expeditionary Force in France. He was assigned to the newly organized salvage service, and in January, 1918, took command of the first salvage depot where he instituted a policy of sending worn boots and uniforms to French cobblers and tailors for repair rather than follow the practice of simple disposal, giving under-employed French artisans work and shortening resupply timetables, as well as saving money for his department. He was among the delegates who assembled in Paris in March 1919 to establish the American Legion while waiting to be repatriated to the United States. They resolved that it would be more inclusive than other veterans groups. He was finally discharged in April, at the rank of lieutenant colonel, having received a both a Distinguished Service Medal from the US and the Legion of Honor from the French. He was unanimously elected the first commander of the American Legion at their Minneapolis convention later that same year. In 1920, he refused re-election as national commander, saying no one man should maintain the position for more than one term. He did, however, remain, active in veterans affairs for the rest of his life. He became president of Prudential Life Insurance Company in 1938; leading the industry in developing major medical coverage, and group insurance. Under his direction the company was converted from stock to a mutual company, owned entirely by its policyholders. In 1945, he was asked to organize and direct the US Strategic Bombing Survey. He is the great grandfather of actor Christopher Reeve.

Bio by: Iola





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 17 May 1998
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2942
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Franklin Woolman D'Olier (28 Apr 1877–10 Dec 1953), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2942, citing Saint Marys Episcopal Churchyard, Burlington, Burlington County, New Jersey, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .