Mrs. Kay Griggs on How the Government Works

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Re: Mrs. Kay Griggs on How the Government Works

Postby admin » Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:52 pm

Alfred M. Gray Jr.
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 1/4/18



Alfred M. Gray Jr.

Born June 22, 1928 (age 89)
Rahway, New Jersey, U.S.
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1950–1991
Rank General
Commands held 1st Radio Battalion
1st Battalion 2nd Marines
2nd Marine Regiment
4th Marine Regiment
33d Marine Amphibious Unit
2nd Marine Division
II Marine Expeditionary Force
Marine Forces Atlantic
Commandant of the Marine Corps
Battles/wars Korean War
Vietnam War
Awards Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star
Purple Heart

Alfred M. Gray Jr. (born June 22, 1928) is a retired United States Marine Corps general who served as the 29th Commandant of the Marine Corps from 1987–91. He retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1991 after 41 years of service.

Early life and education

Gray was born on June 22, 1928 in Rahway, New Jersey and moved to the Jersey Shore community of Point Pleasant Beach.[1] He transferred from Rahway High School to Point Pleasant Beach High School, where he played baseball, basketball and football, graduating as part of the class of 1946.[2] He is the son of Emily and Alfred Mason Gray.[3]

He studied at Lafayette College, and received a Bachelor of Science degree from State University of New York. He has honorary degrees from Lafayette College, Monmouth University, Norwich University, the National Defense Intelligence College, and Franklin University.[4]

He married the former Jan Goss of Burlington, Vermont on July 20, 1980.[3][5]


Gray enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1950. He served overseas with Fleet Marine Force (FMF), Pacific, attaining the rank of sergeant before being commissioned a second lieutenant in April 1952. By definition, serving in the enlisted ranks prior to becoming an officer makes Gray a "mustang," which generally commands more respect in the Corps because of the combination of officer smarts and enlisted practicality. His early tours included service with 11th Marines and 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division in Korea, the 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., during which he saw service in Guantanamo Bay and Vietnam.[6]

As a Major, Gray joined the 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division in Vietnam in October 1965, serving concurrently as regimental communications officer, regimental training officer, and artillery aerial observer. He took command of the Composite Artillery Battalion and U.S. Free World Forces at Gio Linh in April 1967. In September 1967, Gray was reassigned to the III Marine Amphibious Force in Da Nang where he commanded the 1st Radio Battalion elements throughout I Corps until February 1968. Following a brief tour in the United States, he returned to Vietnam from June to September 1969 in conjunction with surveillance and reconnaissance matters in the I Corps area.

After his Vietnam War tour, Gray served as Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, Battalion Landing Team 1/2; the 2nd Marine Regiment; the 4th Marine Regiment; and Camp Commander of Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan. While commanding the 33rd Marine Amphibious Unit and Regimental Landing Team-4, and concurrently serving as Deputy Commander, 9th Marines Amphibious Brigade, Gray directed the Southeast Asia evacuation operations in 1975.

Advanced to brigadier general in March 1976, General Gray served as Commanding General, Landing Force Training Command, Atlantic, and the 4th Marine Amphibious Brigade. Promoted to major general in February 1980, he assumed command of the 2nd Marine Division, FMF, Atlantic, Camp Lejueune, N.C., in June 1981. Following his promotion to lieutenant general on August 29, 1984, he was reassigned as Commanding General, FMF, Atlantic/Commanding General, II MEF, and Commanding General, FMF, Europe.

General Gray was promoted to general and became Commandant of the Marine Corps on July 1, 1987. His appointment as Commandant of the Marine Corps was recommended by Jim Webb, then Secretary of the Navy.[7]

Gray presided over changes in training in the 1970s with an emphasis on large-scale maneuver in desert and cold-weather environments, and changed Marine doctrine to one of maneuver warfare in the 1980s. This transformation from the Vietnam War-era is sometimes called the second enlightenment of the Marine Corps (the first being under MajGen John A. Lejeune), and included development of a robust maritime special operations capability, emphasis on the education of leaders, establishment of Marine Corps University, and development of a long-range desert operations capability. As a reminder that the primary role of every Marine is a rifleman, he had his official photograph taken in the Camouflage Utility Uniform, the only Commandant to have done so.

In popular culture

Gray appeared as himself on the Birthday Ball episode of Major Dad, a second season episode that celebrated the 215th birthday of the Marine Corps. Appearing on 60 Minutes in the 1980s, he addressed the graduating class at the Naval Academy. He summarized the core of leadership—civilian or military, "If you come and join my Marines, I want you to know that your 'number one' job is to take care of the men and women you are privileged to lead."


The Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia is the home of the Alfred M. Gray Research Center. The center houses the Marine Corps Archives and Special Collections, the Quantico Base Library, and the research library for the Marine Corps University, as well a conference center. Gray routinely stops by to donate his recently read books.[citation needed]

Since 2004, as part of the Marine Corps Communications Awards Program, The General Alfred M. Gray Trophy is presented annually in honor of the 29th Commandant. The award bears his name due to his contributions to modernization in intelligence and communications. The Marine Corps University Foundation retains overall responsibility for funding the Trophy, and receives a grant from Sprint. A Marine Captain on active duty serving in the military occupational specialty (MOS) 0602 Communications Information Systems Officer within the operating forces or supporting establishment is recognized with the trophy each year at an awards ceremony.[8]

Awards and decorations

Defense Distinguished Service Medal w/ 1 bronze oak leaf cluster Navy Distinguished Service Medal w/ 1 gold award star Army Distinguished Service Medal Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal Silver Star Legion of Merit w/ valor device & 1 award star Bronze Star w/ valor device & 3 award stars
Purple Heart w/ 1 award star Meritorious Service Medal Joint Service Commendation Medal Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal
Combat Action Ribbon w/ 1 award star Presidential Unit Citation w/ 1 service star Navy Unit Commendation w/ 2 service stars Meritorious Unit Commendation w/ 1 service star
Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal National Defense Service Medal w/ 2 service stars Korea Service Medal w/ 1 service star Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Vietnam Service Medal w/ 1 service star Sea Service Deployment Ribbon Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation Vietnam Gallantry Cross unit citation
Vietnam Civil Actions unit citation United Nations Service Medal for Korea Vietnam Campaign Medal Republic of Korea War Service Medal
Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
In 1991, he was awarded the Distinguished Sea Service Award by the Naval Order of the United States.

Post–Marine Corps career

Alfred M. Gray (right) and James F. Amos (left) in June 2012.
U.S. Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos, left, the 35th commandant of the Marine Corps, speaks with retired Gen. Alford A. Gray, the 29th commandant, during a rededication ceremony for Heywood Hall at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Quantico, Va., June 1, 2012. The facility, located at The Basic School, was named for Maj. Gen. Charles Heywood, the ninth commandant of the Marine Corps. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Mallory S. VanderSchans/Released)

Gray serves on the Board of Directors or Board of Advisors of a number of companies, including:[4]

• American Defense Systems, Inc. (since January 2008)
• American Public University System – serving as Chairman Emeritus and Member, Board of Trustees,[9]
• The Columbia Group, a privately held technical services support company that serves the U.S. military.
• GlobeSecNine, a privately held financial investment firm.
• Integrity Applications Inc., a privately held information assurance and security company.
• Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, a non-profit public policy research institute – serving as Senior Fellow and Chairman of the Board of Regents[4]
• Semper Fi Fund, a nonprofit that provides assistance to wounded and critically ill post-9/11 service members and their families (Chairman of the Board since its inception in 2004)
• SENSIS Corporation, a privately held commercial and defense radar company (since 2000)[4]
• SYS Technologies, Inc., an information solution company[4]
• Norwich University board of trustees.


• 2nd Marine Division Association
• Marine Corps Association
• Khe Sanh Veterans, Inc.
• Marine Corps League


This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.

1. Tucker, Spencer C. Persian Gulf War Encyclopedia: A Political, Social, and Military History: A Political, Social, and Military History, p. 175. ABC-CLIO, 2014. ISBN 9781610694162. Accessed November 20, 2017. "Alfred M. Gray Jr. was born on June 22, 1928, at Rahway, New Jersey. Raised in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, he attended Lafayette College but dropped out of school and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1950."
2. General Alfred M. Gray, USMC, Point Pleasant Beach School District. Accessed November 30, 2017. "Alfred Gray graduated in 1946. After transferring from Rahway High School into 10th grade he became one of the most active members of his class."
3. "Nomination of Lieutenant General Alfred M. Gray Jr. To Be Commandant of the Marine Corps". Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. June 16, 1987. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
4. "Profile: Alfred M. Gray, USMC". Forbes. 2008. Archived from the original on 8 December 2008. Retrieved October 26, 2008.
5. "Alfred M. Gray". Marquis Who's Who (fee required for BRC). Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2008. 2008. Document Number: K2016616305. Archived from the original on January 12, 2001. Retrieved October 26, 2008.
6. "General Alfred M. Gray Jr". Who's Who in Marine Corps History. History Division, United States Marine Corps. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
7. Cushman, John H. Jr. (June 5, 1987). "Activist General in Line for Top Marine Post". New York Times. Retrieved March 14, 2009.
8. "Marine Corps Order 1650.47" (PDF). Retrieved June 30, 2017.
9. "General Alfred M. Gray, (Retired USMC)". American Public University System. 2007-05-08. Archived from the original on 8 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-26.
• "General Alfred M. Gray, Chairman of the Board of Regents at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, is Inducted into the Hall of Honor at the National Cryptologic Museum"(Press release). Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. November 25, 2008. Retrieved December 13, 2008.
• "General Alfred M. Gray – Retired, 29th Commandant of the Marine Corps". United States Marine Corps. Retrieved January 23, 2009.
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Re: Mrs. Kay Griggs on How the Government Works

Postby admin » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:39 am

By exporting our most sophisticated weapons worldwide, we have maintained high levels of production and dominated the global market

by Ashley Craddock
Mother Jones
September/October 1994 Issue




Our share of global arms agreements quadrupled between 1988 and 1994.

Strong growth in lean years is the hallmark of competitiveness, and USArms has had a very competitive year. Some shareholders were worried by my campaign promise to “press for strong international limits on the dangerous and wasteful flow of weapons to troubled regions,” but I assure you that I have held fast to the course set by former CEOs Ronald Reagan and George Bush. The end of the Cold War has caused a drop in both domestic and Global arms demand; USArms has responded by spending shareholder money to develop export markets in Asia and the Middle East. As a result, our share of global conventional arms agreements rose from 17 percent in 1988 to 70 percent in 1993. And, thanks to the efforts of our marketing team, the majority of our 1993 sales were to a promising new market–the developing world. in order to ensure stability, unelected governments and developing countries feel the need to acquire more arms; we are reaching out to them vigorously. Where we once catered to Cold War political allegiances, we now aggressively respond to supply and demand. With Russia, our major competitor, still severely crippled, we can look forward to several years of spectacular growth.

BILL CLINTON, Chief Executive Officer


By increasing a country’s offensive-strike capacity, combat aircraft promote more regional arms competition than any other USArms export.

USArms has been able to strengthen our worldwide market share through the efforts of our arms export and production team. Our marketing division -- the Pentagon, the State Department, and the Commerce Department (under the brilliant leadership of Secretary Ronald Brown) -- has worked with subsidiary defense contractors like Martin Marietta to expand international markets and sustain our industrial base.

With all of us pulling together, 1993 saw USArms leading the globe in exports of combat aircraft. We expect that 1995 will be the first year we sell more fighter planes to foreign governments than we do to our own. And by 1996, exports of these aircraft will outpace falling domestic sales by more than five to one.


Low-intensity conflict merchandise: To suppress possible postelection rioting, Mexico recently purchased the Cobra Riot Control Vehicle from USArms.

Overall, trade in large weapons systems is in a downward trend. Therefore, we are diversifying our products and developing new marketing strategies.

Worldwide, many post-Cold War leaders are faced with conflict within their own borders, which they must quell as quickly and quietly as possible. The beginning of 1994 saw 18 full-scale ethnic wars raging, 38 low-intensity conflicts for control of regions like Northern Ireland and the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and 8 potential conflicts repressed by supervigilant states.

USArms helps the world’s leaders control civil conflicts. Small arms and sophisticated riot-control vehicles are less expensive than major conventional systems and therefore easier for poor nations to buy. And under the Arms Export Control Act, we can sell weapons valued under $14 million without government interference.

For us, the benefits are obvious: These products fill a small but important market niche that supplements our high-dollar trade in larger systems. We estimate that USArms exports of products designed to control low-intensity conflicts will escalate from $1 billion in 1991 to $1.5 billion by the end of 1996.


Overall, USArms has seen our domestic arms sales tumble in recent years. With demand for weapons from America’s traditional allies also dropping, USArms has developed creative entry points into the global arms market.

We are marketing intensively in regions experiencing conflict and in countries torn by ethnic uprisings. In particular, we have taken an aggressive approach to those countries that spend more on military budgets than on social programs, on the grounds that political pressures should not interfere with our fiduciary obligation to sell products. Despite a 48 percent drop in global arms deliveries to the third world between 1988 and 1993, our Third World deliveries rose 7 percent due to our successful marketing efforts. Some examples:


Respectively the number one and two buyers of major weapons systems in the world (not just from USArms), Greece and Turkey are locked in a frantic arms race. In 1993, the two countries combined to purchase 1,603 tanks from USArms–up from a previously unprecedented high of 1,180 the year before. USArms sends sophisticated technology to both countries, each of which now licenses technology for Stinger air-defense missiles. We anticipate that such sales will increase pressure to develop more sophisticated weapons for U.S. security, in case our allies should ever turn against us.

Turkey, situated between the Balkans and the Middle East, is a vital security partner for the United States. In 1993, USArms sold 22 attack helicopters to Turkey–almost four times as many as in 1992. Moreover, Turkey is reportedly using USArms planes to intensify its battle against the Kurds and is engaged in a tense arms race with its historic rival, Greece, which is also a booming arms market.


In 1990, 6 of the 15 countries in the Middle East spent at least two-and-a-half times more on their militaries than on health and education combined. This region is clearly a booming market. In the two-and-a-half years after the Gulf War, we racked up an impressive $43.8 billion in sales to the Middle East. We recognize that U.S. intervention in the region might mean combat against a sophisticated military that we ourselves have armed. But, as in the Gulf War, America would ultimately prevail.

In the Middle East, USArms has maintained massive sales to Saudi Arabia despite analysts’ prediction that the government might be forced to address rampant social inequalities with programs that would cut into military spending. Last year’s $12.5 billion in sales to Saudi Arabia accounted for 38 percent of our total foreign military sales. Critics say our sales to Saudi Arabia may stimulate regional insecurities and encourage a fundamentalist uprising; however, we are committed to serving our loyal customer, the Saudi government.


East Asian nations are long overdue the sort of military modernization the United States takes for granted. USArms has illustrated its commitment to the region with investments such as the $575,000 we spent on Singapore’s 1994 air show. Our sale of eight F-18s to Malaysia demonstrates our constant attention to the bottom line: In the new world order, no sale is too small to pursue.

East Asia has been concerned about China’s skyrocketing military budget and expansionist rumblings since the end of the Cold War. The result is that East Asia now represents the fastest-growing and wealthiest arms market in the world. Between 1987 and 1991, East Asia made arms purchases totaling $29 billion, about 13 percent of all USArms products delivered during that period.


USArms prides itself on our crack team: approximately 35,000 subsidiary defense contractors employing 2.7 million workers, 15,000 Pentagon salespeople, and you, our 115.8 million taxpaying American shareholders.

And now that times are tough, the USArms team is on the offensive. For example, when domestic demand dropped to zero for the F-15 fighter, our marketing arm at the Pentagon focused on foreign markets. Over the last two years, we have agreed to sell up to 97 F-15s (deals worth $11.6 billion) to Israel and Saudi Arabia. Those sales, in turn, keep assembly lines open at 2,070 USArms defense contractors. The Saudi sale alone saved 40,000 jobs, ensuring that a broad section of our nation’s workforce remains in the defense industry.

How do we arrange such deals? First, our employees at the Defense, Commerce, and State departments target certain countries for direct military aid. We disperse money to these countries, which then use them to purchase USArms products. In 1993, we gave just over $3.4 billion in direct aid, much of which financed Israel’s F-15 deal.

And we further subsidize targeted countries: Of the money USArms directs to the World Bank, the International Military Education and Training program, and the Economic Support Fund, much returns to our coffers in the form of increased weapons sales–$2.44 billion in the last year alone.

Our most innovative technique for opening markets involves a kind of trade called “offsets.” If a country buys our weapons, we might give them the technology to produce those arms on their own shores. Or, we might contract to buy other manufactured goods from that country. In the Israeli deal, for instance, offsets infused the Israeli economy with an estimated 70 percent of the cost of the F-15s.

That’s where you, our shareholders, come in. Opening new markets (and maintaining old ones) takes money. Although you spend more than $1 for every $1 foreign governments pay for our products, your investment is being put to good use.


In 1993, total USArms sales to foreign clients amounted to $32.4 billion. Of course, this wasn’t just money supplied by foreign customers. You helped. The table below roughly breaks down how USArms depends on shareholders to underwrite sales.

Net dollars spent by our foreign clients: $11.6 billion (36%)

After deducting shareholder expenses and offsets, this figure represents the net dollars spent by our foreign clients. Most go directly to our subsidiary defense contractors, but we want to assure you that our shareholders are not forgotten. Of our foreign military sales for 1993, about 4 percent ($1.3 billion) was returned to shareholders indirectly–via the Pentagon’s budget.

Direct shareholder expenses: $7.8 billion (24%)

Direct shareholder expenses may seem high, but your investment is being put to good use–expanding the world market. Here’s where most of your tax dollars went: Direct military aid ($3.4 billion) Economic Support Fund, indirectly funneled back into arms ($2.7 billion) The 10 percent of our World Bank contributions that are funneled back into arms ($200 million) Bad loans from the U.S. government to foreign countries, derived from a 10-year average ($1 billion) International sales and support staff at the Pentagon and the State and Commerce departments ($500 million) International Military Education and Training program ($43 million) Air and trade shows ($25 million).

Combined shareholder/ subsidiary expenses due to “offsets”: $13 billion (40%)

In offsets, both defense contractors and the U.S. government work to divert U.S. dollars toward foreign clients. In recent years, approximately two-thirds of foreign military sales involved offsets, which undercut those revenues by about 60 percent. Sometimes we arrange for arms production to take place overseas, which unfortunately cuts down on the number of jobs we’re able to provide our American workers. In other offsets, USArms subsidiary defense contractors buy some completely unrelated product from a foreign client to boost that country’s economy.

The F-15 success story

This popular jet fighter brought in more cash with less shareholder subsidy than most of our products. And your research dollars for the new F-22 jet ensure American air superiority should any of our F-15 customers turn hostile. By coordinating the efforts of 2,070 companies with related government agencies, your shareholder dollars helped USArms generate profits.


1993 profits: $156 million
The largest subcontract in the Saudi deal included 22 engines that enable speeds of up to 1,650 mph.


1993 profits: $693 million
The Saudi sale included Sidewinder heat-seekers, Hughes Maverick air-to-surface missiles, and jointly made Sparrow radar-guided missiles.


1993 Profits: $450 million
Vulcan Guns fire 120 shots per second out of seven barrels.


1993 profits: $396 million
McDonnell Douglas distributes business to other subsidiaries and assembles the finished product.


1993 profits: $922 million
Radar tracks small high-speed targets at treetop level.


The Pentagon

Washington, D.C. 20310

Dear Shareholders:

USArms sales policies under Clinton have been subject to public criticism in recent months by some prominent shareholders from both ends of the political spectrum. In the interest of dispelling their concerns, we are providing a brief summary of their comments with our response.

On the one hand are liberal critics like Natalie Goldring, deputy director of the British American Security Information Council, Bill Hartung, senior research fellow at the World Policy Institute and author of “And Weapons For All,” and Randall Forsberg, executive director of the Institute for Defense and Disarmament Studies. All three are disappointed that Clinton is following the course set by CEOs Reagan and Bush.

Dr. Goldring says USArms should not sell arms to countries that historically have been enemies with each other, such as Israel and Saudi Arabia. She is also concerned about our sales in East Asia because alliances there are shifting so fast that our own weapons may be used against us. “In the past, the Cold War lines were so strongly drawn that bought countries generally stayed bought. That’s not true now,” she says.

Mr. Hartung says USArms has a responsibility to keep countries from “increasing their destructive potential” and therefore shouldn’t sell small arms, system upgrades, or technology that aids nuclear capability in regions of possible conflict. Ms. Forsberg agrees that USArms’ dependence on exports to sustain domestic production creates a “self-fulfilling threat.” She adds that unless we work with Russia to limit arms sales, the world arms race will spin out of control.

On the other hand, Joel Johnson, vice president international of the Association of Aerospace Industries, criticizes management for failing to provide USArms subsidiaries with the same sort of loan guarantees given to other major exporters, such as agriculture. Mr. Johnson also says the Pentagon’s fee on foreign military purchases cuts into sales by raising prices and making our aerospace industries less competitive in the weapons market. He concedes that it might be better if we didn’t sell weapons to antagonistic countries, but argues that we need to look at whether we are denying dangerous regimes access to weapons or simply limiting the USArms market.

We agree with Mr. Johnson that we need to evaluate our options–and the effect on our bottom line–before we refuse to sell weapons to aggressive countries. We disagree, however, on loan guarantees and surcharges; USArms needs to recover some of the expenses incurred in negotiating sales for our subsidiaries. As for being priced out of the international market, we believe that our buyers are getting a great deal–USArms might charge more, but we also guarantee that we will purchase products from their countries, which offsets some of their costs.

As for the objections raised by Dr. Goldring, Mr. Hartung, and Ms. Forsberg, USArms management has often heard the argument that, as the sole remaining superpower in the post-Cold War world, we have a responsibility to limit arms sales. We believe that view is unrealistic and is disrespectful of developing countries’ sovereign right to arm themselves. Frankly, we do not live in a moral world, and if USArms did not fill the global arms demand, others would.

Indeed, we are confident that by selling arms across the globe, we are not creating future threats but future customers. These critics talk about moral imperatives: USArms believes our only moral imperative is to protect the jobs and security of the American people and to sustain the industrial base that has made us the most powerful nation in the world.


Ronald H. Brown

Secretary of Commerce

USArms Vice President of Marketing
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Re: Mrs. Kay Griggs on How the Government Works

Postby admin » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:54 am

Chesty Puller
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 1/4/18



Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller
Puller in 1950
Born June 26, 1898
West Point, Virginia, U.S.
Died October 11, 1971 (aged 73)
Hampton, Virginia, U.S.
Buried Christchurch Parish Cemetery
Christ Church, Saluda, Virginia, U.S.
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1918–1955
Rank Lieutenant General
Unit 1st Marine Division
Commands held World War II: 1st Battalion, 7th Marines and 1st Marines
Korean War: 1st Marines
Banana Wars

Occupation of Haiti
Occupation of Nicaragua
Battle of Agua Carta
Battle of El Sauce
World War II
Action along the Matanikau
Battle for Henderson Field
Battle of Cape Gloucester
Battle of Peleliu
Korean War
Battle of Inchon
Battle of Chosin Reservoir
Navy Cross (5)
Distinguished Service Cross
Silver Star
Legion of Merit (2),
"V" Device
Bronze Star,
"V" Device
Purple Heart
Air Medal (3)
Spouse(s) Virginia Montague Evans
Relations Lewis Burwell Puller, Jr. (son)

Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller (June 26, 1898 – October 11, 1971) was a United States Marine Corps lieutenant general who fought guerrillas in Haiti and Nicaragua, in World War II and the Korean War.

Puller is the most decorated Marine in American history. He is one of two U.S. servicemen awarded five Navy Crosses and one Army Distinguished Service Cross. Puller's six Crosses are next in number to the eight times Eddie Rickenbacker received the nation's second-highest military award for valor.[1]

In 1955 (after 37 years of service), Puller retired from the Marine Corps. He lived in Virginia and died in 1971, at age 73.

Early life

Puller was born in West Point, Virginia, to Matthew and Martha Puller. His father was a grocer who died when Lewis was 10 years old. Puller grew up listening to old veterans' tales of the American Civil War and idolizing Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. He wanted to enlist in the United States Army to fight in the Border War with Mexico in 1916, but he was too young and could not get parental consent from his mother.[2]

The following year, Puller attended the Virginia Military Institute but left in August 1918 as World War I was still ongoing, saying that he wanted to "go where the guns are!"[3] Inspired by the 5th Marines at Belleau Wood, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps as a private and attended boot camp at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina.[2]

Although he never saw action in that war, the Marine Corps was expanding, and soon after graduating he attended their non-commissioned officer school and Officer Candidates School (OCS) at Quantico, Virginia, following that. Graduating from OCS on June 16, 1919, Puller was appointed a second lieutenant in the reserves, but the reduction in force from 73,000 to 1,100 officers and 27,400 men[4] following the war led to his being put on inactive status 10 days later and given the rank of corporal.[2]

Interwar years[edit]

First Lieutenant Lewis "Chesty" Puller (center left) and Sergeant William "Ironman" Lee (center right) and two Nicaraguan soldiers in 1931

Corporal Puller received orders to serve in the Gendarmerie d'Haiti as a lieutenant, seeing action in Haiti.[5] While the United States was working under a treaty with Haiti, he participated in over forty engagements during the ensuing five years against the Caco rebels and attempted to regain his commission as an officer twice. In 1922, he served as an adjutant to Major Alexander Vandegrift, a future Commandant of the Marine Corps.

Puller returned stateside and was finally recommissioned as a second lieutenant on March 6, 1924 (Service No. 03158), afterward completing assignments at the Marine Barracks in Norfolk, Virginia, The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, and with the 10th Marine Artillery Regiment in Quantico, Virginia. He was assigned to the Marine Barracks at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in July 1926 and in San Diego, California, in 1928.

Puller with members of the Guardia Nacional

In December 1928, Puller was assigned to the Nicaraguan National Guard detachment, where he was awarded his first Navy Cross for his actions from February 16 to August 19, 1930, when he led "five successive engagements against superior numbers of armed bandit forces." He returned stateside in July 1931 and completed the year-long Company Officers Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, thereafter returning to Nicaragua from September 20 to October 1, 1932, and was awarded a second Navy Cross. Puller led American Marines and Nicaraguan National Guardsmen into battle against Sandinista rebels in the last major engagement of the Sandino Rebellion near El Sauce on December 26, 1932.

After his service in Nicaragua, Puller was assigned to the Marine detachment at the American Legation in Beijing, China, commanding a unit of China Marines. He then went on to serve aboard USS Augusta, a cruiser in the Asiatic Fleet, which was commanded by then-Captain Chester W. Nimitz. Puller returned to the States in June 1936 as an instructor at The Basic School in Philadelphia, where he trained Ben Robertshaw, Pappy Boyington, and Lew Walt.[6]

In May 1939, he returned to the Augusta as commander of the on-board Marine detachment, and then back to China, disembarking in Shanghai in May 1940 to serve as the executive officer and commanding officer of 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines (2/4) until August 1941. Major Puller returned to the U.S. on August 28, 1941. After a short leave, he was given command of 1st Battalion, 7th Marines (1/7) of the 1st Marine Division, stationed at New River, North Carolina (later Camp Lejeune).[7]

World War II

Lt. Col. Puller on Guadalcanal in September, 1942

Early in the Pacific theater, the 7th Marines formed the nucleus of the newly created 3rd Marine Brigade and arrived to defend Samoa on May 8, 1942. Later they were redeployed from the brigade and on September 4, 1942, they left Samoa and rejoined the 1st Division at Guadalcanal on September 18, 1942.

Soon after arriving on Guadalcanal, Lt. Col. Puller led his battalion in a fierce action along the Matanikau, in which Puller's quick thinking saved three of his companies from annihilation. In the action, these companies were surrounded and cut off by a larger Japanese force. Puller ran to the shore, signaled a United States Navy destroyer, the USS Ballard,[8] and then Puller directed the destroyer to provide fire support while landing craft rescued his Marines from their precarious position. U.S. Coast Guard Signalman First Class Douglas Albert Munro—Officer-in-Charge of the group of landing craft, was killed while providing covering fire from his landing craft for the Marines as they evacuated the beach and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for the action, to date the only Coast Guardsman to receive the decoration. Puller, for his actions, was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V".

Later on Guadalcanal, Puller was awarded his third Navy Cross, in what was later known as the "Battle for Henderson Field". Puller commanded 1st Battalion 7th Marines (1/7), one of two American infantry units defending the airfield against a regiment-strength Japanese force. The 3rd Battalion of the U.S. Army's 164th Infantry Regiment (3/164) fought alongside the Marines. In a firefight on the night of October 24–25, 1942, lasting about three hours, 1/7 and 3/164 sustained 70 casualties; the Japanese force suffered over 1,400 killed in action, and the Americans held the airfield. He nominated two of his men (one being Sgt. John Basilone) for Medals of Honor. He was wounded himself on November 9.

Puller was then made executive officer of the 7th Marine Regiment. While serving in this capacity at Cape Gloucester, Puller was awarded his fourth Navy Cross for overall performance of duty between December 26, 1943, and January 19, 1944. During this time, when the battalion commanders of 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines (3/7) and later, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines (3/5), were under heavy machine gun and mortar fire, he expertly reorganized the battalion and led the successful attack against heavily fortified Japanese defensive positions. He was promoted to colonel effective February 1, 1944, and by the end of the month had been named commander of the 1st Marine Regiment. In September and October 1944, Puller led the 1st Marine Regiment into the protracted battle on Peleliu, one of the bloodiest battles in Marine Corps history, and received his first of two Legion of Merit awards. The 1st Marines under Puller's command lost 1,749 out of approximately 3,000 men, but these losses did not stop Puller from ordering frontal assaults against the well-entrenched enemy. The corps commander had to order the 1st Marine Division commanding general to pull the annihilated 1st Marine Regiment out of the line.[9]

During the summer of 1944, Puller's younger brother, Samuel D. Puller, the Executive Officer of the 4th Marine Regiment, was killed by an enemy sniper on Guam.[10]

Puller returned to the United States in November 1944, was named executive officer of the Infantry Training Regiment at Camp Lejeune and, two weeks later, Commanding Officer. After the war, he was made Director of the 8th Reserve District at New Orleans, and later commanded the Marine Barracks at Pearl Harbor.

Korean War

Colonel Puller cutting the Marine Corps birthday cake on 10 November 1950.

Colonel Puller studies the terrain during the Korean War.

Then-retired Puller and his wife, Virginia, at their home.

At the outbreak of the Korean War, Puller was once again assigned as commander of the First Marine Regiment. He participated in the landing at Inchon on September 15, 1950, and was awarded the Silver Star Medal.[11] For leadership from September 15 through November 2, he was awarded his second Legion of Merit. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross from the U.S. Army for heroism in action from November 29 to December 4, and his fifth Navy Cross for heroism during December 5–10, 1950, at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. It was during that battle that he said the famous line, "We've been looking for the enemy for some time now. We've finally found him. We're surrounded. That simplifies things."[12]

In January 1951, Puller was promoted to brigadier general and was assigned duty as assistant division commander (ADC) of the 1st Marine Division. On February 24, however, his immediate superior, Major General O.P. Smith, was hastily transferred to command IX Corps when its Army commander, Major General Bryant Moore, died. Smith's transfer left Puller temporarily in command of the 1st Marine Division until sometime in March. He completed his tour of duty as assistant commander and left for the United States on May 20, 1951.[13] He took command of the 3rd Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, California until January 1952, and then was assistant commander of the division until June 1952. He then took over Troop Training Unit Pacific at Coronado, California. In September 1953, he was promoted to major general.

Post-Korean War

In July 1954, Puller took command of the 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina until February 1955 when he became Deputy Camp Commander. He suffered a stroke,[14] and was retired by the Marine Corps on November 1, 1955 with a tombstone promotion to lieutenant general.[15]

Regarding his nickname, in a handwritten addition to a typed 22 November 1954 letter to Maj. Frank C. Sheppard, Puller wrote, "I agree with you 100%. I had done a little soldiering previous to Guadalcanal and had been called a lot of names, but why ‘Chesty’? Especially the steel part??"[16]


Puller's son, Lewis Burwell Puller, Jr. (generally known as Lewis Puller), served as a Marine lieutenant in the Vietnam War. While serving with 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines (2/1), Lewis Jr. was severely wounded by a mine explosion, losing both legs and parts of his hands. Lieutenant General Puller broke down sobbing at seeing his son for the first time in the hospital.[17] Lewis Jr. won a 1992 Pulitzer Prize for his autobiography Fortunate Son: The Healing of a Vietnam Vet.

Puller was father-in-law to Colonel William H. Dabney, USMC (Retired), a Virginia Military Institute (VMI) graduate, who was the commanding officer (then Captain) of two heavily reinforced rifle companies of the Third Battalion, Twenty-Sixth Marines (3/26) from January 21 to April 14, 1968 in Vietnam. During the entire period, Colonel Dabney's force stubbornly defended Hill 881S, a regional outpost vital to the defense of the Khe Sanh Combat Base during the 77-day siege. Following Khe Sanh, Dabney was recommended for the Navy Cross for his actions on Hill 881 South, but his battalion executive officer's helicopter carrying the recommendation papers crashed—and the papers were lost. It was not until April 15, 2005, that Colonel Dabney received the Navy Cross during an award ceremony at Virginia Military Institute.

Puller was a distant cousin to the famous U.S. Army General George S. Patton.[18]

He was an Episcopalian and parishioner of Christ Church Parish and is buried in the historic cemetery next to his wife Virginia Montague Evans.[19]

Decorations and awards

Puller received the second-highest U.S. military award six times (one of only two persons so honored): five Navy Crosses and one U.S. Army Distinguished Service Cross. He was the second of two U.S. servicemen to ever receive five Navy Crosses, U.S. Navy submarine commander Roy Milton Davenport was the first to receive five Navy Crosses.

Puller's military awards include:

1st row Navy Cross
with four stars Distinguished
Service Cross Silver Star
2nd row Legion of Merit with Combat "V"
and one star Bronze Star
with Combat "V" Air Medal with
two stars Purple Heart
3rd row Presidential Unit Citation
with 4 stars Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal
with 1 star Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal
with 1 star World War I Victory Medal
with West Indies clasp
4th row Haitian Campaign
Medal Second Nicaraguan
Campaign Medal China
Service Medal American Defense Service
Medal with Base clasp
5th row American
Campaign Medal Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
with 4 stars World War II
Victory Medal National Defense
Service Medal
6th row Korean Service Medal
with 5 stars Haitian
Médaille militaire Nicaraguan Presidential
Medal of Merit with Diploma Nicaraguan Cross of Valor
with Diploma
7th row Korean Order of Military Merit,
Eulji Cordon Medal Order of the Cloud and
Banner with Special Cravat[20] Republic of Korea
Presidential Unit Citation United Nations Service
Medal for Korea

First Navy Cross citation


"For distinguished service in the line of his profession while commanding a Nicaraguan National Guard patrol. First Lieutenant Lewis B. Puller, United States Marine Corps, successfully led his forces into five successful engagements against superior numbers of armed bandit forces; namely, at LaVirgen on 16 February 1930, at Los Cedros on 6 June 1930, at Moncotal on 22 July 1930, at Guapinol on 25 July 1930, and at Malacate on 19 August 1930, with the result that the bandits were in each engagement completely routed with losses of nine killed and many wounded. By his intelligent and forceful leadership without thought of his own personal safety, by great physical exertion and by suffering many hardships, Lieutenant Puller surmounted all obstacles and dealt five successive and severe blows against organized banditry in the Republic of Nicaragua."[21]

Second Navy Cross citation


"First Lieutenant Lewis B. Puller, United States Marine Corps (Captain, Guardia Nacional de Nicaragua) performed exceptionally meritorious service in a duty of great responsibility while in command of a Guardia Patrol from 20 September to 1 October 1932. Lieutenant Puller and his command of forty Guardia and Gunnery Sergeant William A. Lee, United States Marine Corps, serving as a First Lieutenant in the Guardia, penetrated the isolated mountainous bandit territory for a distance of from eighty to one hundred miles north of Jinotega, his nearest base. This patrol was ambushed on 26 September 1932, at a point northeast of Mount Kilambe by an insurgent force of one hundred fifty in a well-prepared position armed with not less than seven automatic weapons and various classes of small arms and well-supplied with ammunition. Early in the combat, Gunnery Sergeant Lee, the Second in Command, was seriously wounded and reported as dead. The Guardia immediately behind Lieutenant Puller in the point was killed by the first burst of fire, Lieutenant Puller, with great courage, coolness and display of military judgment, so directed the fire and movement of his men that the enemy were driven first from the high ground on the right of his position, and then by a flanking movement forced from the high ground to the left and finally were scattered in confusion with a loss of ten killed and many wounded by the persistent and well-directed attack of the patrol. The numerous casualties suffered by the enemy and the Guardia losses of two killed and four wounded are indicative of the severity of the enemy resistance. This signal victory in jungle country, with no lines of communication and a hundred miles from any supporting force, was largely due to the indomitable courage and persistence of the patrol commander. Returning with the wounded to Jinotega, the patrol was ambushed twice by superior forces on 30 September. On both of the occasions the enemy was dispersed with severe losses."[21]

Third Navy Cross citation


"For extraordinary heroism as Commanding Officer of the First Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division, during the action against enemy Japanese forces on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, on the night of 24 to 25 October 1942. While Lieutenant Colonel Puller's battalion was holding a mile-long front in a heavy downpour of rain, a Japanese force, superior in number, launched a vigorous assault against that position of the line which passed through a dense jungle. Courageously withstanding the enemy's desperate and determined attacks, Lieutenant Colonel Puller not only held his battalion to its position until reinforcements arrived three hours later, but also effectively commanded the augmented force until late in the afternoon of the next day. By his tireless devotion to duty and cool judgment under fire, he prevented a hostile penetration of our lines and was largely responsible for the successful defense of the sector assigned to his troops."[21]

Fourth Navy Cross citation


"For extraordinary heroism as Executive Officer of the Seventh Marines, First Marine Division, serving with the Sixth United States Army, in combat against enemy Japanese forces at Cape Gloucester, New Britain, from 26 December 1943 to 19 January 1944. Assigned temporary command of the Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, from 4 to 9 January, Lieutenant Colonel Puller quickly reorganized and advanced his unit, effecting the seizure of the objective without delay. Assuming additional duty in command of the Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, from 7 to 8 January, after the commanding officer and executive officer had been wounded, Lieutenant Colonel Puller unhesitatingly exposed himself to rifle, machine-gun and mortar fire from strongly entrenched Japanese positions to move from company to company in his front lines, reorganizing and maintaining a critical position along a fire-swept ridge. His forceful leadership and gallant fighting spirit under the most hazardous conditions were contributing factors in the defeat of the enemy during this campaign and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."[21]

Fifth Navy Cross citation


"For extraordinary heroism as Commanding Officer of the First Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against aggressor forces in the vicinity of Koto-ri, Korea, from 5 to 10 December 1950. Fighting continuously in sub-zero weather against a vastly outnumbering hostile force, Colonel Puller drove off repeated and fanatical enemy attacks upon his Regimental defense sector and supply points. Although the area was frequently covered by grazing machine-gun fire and intense artillery and mortar fire, he coolly moved along his troops to insure their correct tactical employment, reinforced the lines as the situation demanded, and successfully defended the perimeter, keeping open the main supply routes for the movement of the Division. During the attack from Koto-ri to Hungnam, he expertly utilized his Regiment as the Division rear guard, repelling two fierce enemy assaults which severely threatened the security of the unit, and personally supervised the care and prompt evacuation of all casualties. By his unflagging determination, he served to inspire his men to heroic efforts in defense of their positions and assured the safety of much valuable equipment which would otherwise have been lost to the enemy. His skilled leadership, superb courage and valiant devotion to duty in the face of overwhelming odds reflect the highest credit upon Colonel Puller and the United States Naval Service."[21]

Distinguished Service Cross citation


"The President of the United States of America, under the provisions of the Act of Congress approved July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Colonel Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller (MCSN: 0-3158), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving as Commanding Officer, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in the vicinity of the Chosin Reservoir, Korea, during the period 29 November to 4 December 1950. Colonel Puller's actions contributed materially to the breakthrough of the First Marine Regiment in the Chosin Reservoir area and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service."[21]

Namesakes and honors

In addition to his military awards Puller has received numerous honors due to his Marine Corps service:

• On October 26, 2017 a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the Puller Veterans Care Center located in Vint Hill, Virginia. “The new Puller Veterans Care Center will be built on the former Vint Hill Farms Station in Fauquier County, which previously served as a United States Army and National Security Agency Facility. The new care center will deliver top-quality care to Virginia Veterans in a home-like setting. The 128-bed facility will feature all private rooms that will be organized into households and neighborhoods that surround a central community center.”
• The frigate Lewis B. Puller (FFG-23) was named after him.
• The headquarters building for 2nd Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team on Yorktown Naval Weapons Station in Yorktown, Virginia, is named Puller Hall in his honor.
• Route 33 in Middlesex County, Virginia, is named General Puller Highway. It is the county in which Puller is buried.
• On November 10, 2005, the United States Postal Service issued its Distinguished Marines stamps in which Puller was honored.[22]
• The Marine Corps' mascot is perpetually named "Chesty Pullerton." (e.g. Chesty XIII). He is always a purebred English Bulldog.
• In 2012, Military Sealift Command announced that a Mobile Landing Platform will be named after Puller, USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-MLP-3/T-AFSB-1).[23]

Puller in U.S. Marine Corps culture

A memorial flagpole erected in Puller's honor in his hometown of West Point

Puller remains a well-known figure in U.S. Marine Corps folklore, with both true and exaggerated tales of his experiences being constantly recounted among U.S. Marines.

A common incantation in U.S. Marine Corps boot camp is to end one's day with the declaration, "Good night, Chesty, wherever you are!"[24] Another common encouragement is "Chesty Puller never quit!"

In U.S. Marine Corps recruit training and OCS cadences, Marines chant "It was good for Chesty Puller/And it's good enough for me" as well as "Tell Chesty Puller I did my best."—Chesty is symbolic of the esprit de corps of the Marines. Also, the recruits sing "Chesty Puller was a good Marine and a good Marine was he."

U.S. Marines, while doing push-ups, will tell each other to "do one for Chesty!"

Puller insisted upon good equipment and discipline; once he came upon a second lieutenant who had ordered an enlisted man to salute him 100 times for missing a salute. Puller told the lieutenant, "You were absolutely correct in making him salute you 100 times, Lieutenant, but you know that an officer must return every salute he receives. Now return them all, and I will keep count."[25][26][27]

While on duty in Hawaii and inspecting the armory, Puller fined himself $100 for accidentally discharging a .45 caliber pistol indoors, although the charge for his men was only $20.[27]


1. "Valor awards for Edward Vernon Rickenbacker". Retrieved 29 July 2017.
2. Wise, James E.; Scott Baron (2007). Navy Cross: extraordinary heroism in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other conflicts. Naval Institute Press. p. 256. ISBN 978-1-59114-945-3.
3. Wilson, Diann W. (2008). Dogged Determination: Life Experiences and the USMC Bulldog Copyright. iUniverse. p. 98. ISBN 978-0-59545-358-0.
4. Hoffman 2001, p. 21
5. Davis 1991
6. Template:Country data 1991
7. "The History of the 7th Marines". 7th Marines. Archived from the original on 2007-07-01. Retrieved June 30, 2006.
8. Davis,Burke,2016,"Marine The Life of Chesty Puller", ASIN: B01BM1TJ48
9. Giaffo, Lou (2013). Gooch's Marines. Dorrance Publishing Company, Incorporated. p. 132. ISBN 9781434933997.
10. Keene, R. R. (2004). "Wake up and die, Marine!" (Reprinted by Leatherneck Magazine.
11. SecNavInst 1650.1H, 8/22/2006, Silver Star Medal.
12. Russ (1998). Breakout. p. 230.
13. Hoffman 2001, p. 604
14. Hoffman 2001, p. 660
15. Hoffman 2001, p. 688
16. "The Marine's Marine, Chesty Puller, Wonders How He Got His Nickname, and Mentions His Famous Service at Guadalcanal". The Raab Collection, LLC. Archived from the original on 28 April 2016. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
17. Puller, Lewis B. Jr. (1991). Fortunate Son: The Healing of a Vietnam Vet. New York: Grove Weidenfeld. p. 162. ISBN 0-8021-1218-8.
18. Hoffman 2001, p. 656
19. "Lientenant General Lewis B. Chesty Puller". Retrieved 2016-09-22.
20. "Private Law 85-704" (PDF). United States Statutes at Large, Volume 72, 85th Congress, 2nd Session. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
21. "Military Times". Retrieved 29 July 2017.
22. "Four Distinguished Marines Saluted on U.S. Postage Stamps" (Press release). United States Postal Service. November 10, 2005. Retrieved 2015-01-22.
23. James Marconi (5 January 2012). "Navy Names First Three Mobile Landing Platform Ships". Military Sealift Command Public Affairs. United States Navy. Archived from the original on 21 February 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
24. Davis 1991, p. 6
25. Davis 1991, pp. 100–101
26. Cossey, B. Keith (January 2006). "The Virtue of Unabashed Awkwardness in Military Leadership and Everyday Life". COMBAT Magazine. 4 (1). ISSN 1542-1546. Retrieved 2006-11-26.
27. Marine Corps Social Media. "Ultimate Marine (Puller Vs Butler)". Marines Blog Official Blog of the United States Marine Corps. United States Marine Corps. Archived from the original on 31 July 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2014.


• Boot, Max (2002). The Savage Wars of Peace – Small Wars and the Rise of American Power. Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-00721-X. LCCN 2004695066.
• Crocker, H.W. (2006). Don't Tread on me: A 400-year history of America at War, from Indian Fighting to Terrorist Hunting. Crown Forum. ISBN 1-4000-5363-3.
• Davis, Burke (1991) [1962]. Marine! The Life of Chesty Puller. Bantam Books. ISBN 0-553-27182-2.
• Fehrenbach, T.R. (1963). This Kind of War. Dulles, Virginia: Brassey's. ISBN 1-57488-259-7.
• Hoffman, Jon T. (2001). Chesty: The Story of Lieutenant General Lewis B. Puller, USMC. Random House. ISBN 0-679-44732-6.
• Russ, Martin (1999). Breakout – The Chosin Reservoir Campaign, Korea, 1950. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-029259-4.
• Simmons, Edwin H. (2003). The United States Marines: A History, Fourth Edition. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-790-5.
• "Lieutenant General Lewis "Chesty" B. Puller, USMC". Who's Who in Marine Corps History. History Division, United States Marine Corps. Retrieved 2008-11-27.
• "Lieutenant General Lewis "Chesty" Puller – Deceased". General Officer biographies. United States Marine Corps. Archived from the original on 2012-01-18. Retrieved 2009-02-10.
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Re: Mrs. Kay Griggs on How the Government Works

Postby admin » Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:16 am

Testimony of Major Randy Aber on Capitol Hill
by DemocracyNow!
December 11, 1996
[Transcribed by Tara Carreon]




Major Randy Aber believes his diagnosis of Lou Gehrigs Disease is a result of a low level chemical exposure in the gulf. His illness prevents him from speaking so after he thanks the members of the Congress his father read the Major’s statements about his experiences of possible chemical exposure in the gulf war. This event is broadcasted.

Segment Subjects (keywords for the segment): Gulf War, chemical agents, biological agents

[Amy Goodman] You’re listening to DemocracyNow!. I’m Amy Goodman. More Persian Gulf War Veterans will testify on Capitol Hill today as a House Subcommittee continues its hearings on chemical weapons in the Gulf War.

Yesterday, several veterans gave first-hand accounts of their experience with chemical agents in the Gulf. The most compelling testimony came from Marine Corps Major Randy Aber who believes his diagnosis of Lou Gehrig’s disease is the result of low-level chemical exposure in the Gulf. Aber’s illness prevents him from speaking clearly, so after he thanked members of Congress, his father read the Major’s statements.

[Randy Aber] [Speaks incomprehensibly]

[Randy Aber’s Father] Mr. Chairman, my son has said:

Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, ladies and gentlemen, my name is Randy Aber. I appreciate the opportunity to present the truth today.

In December, 1990, I was assigned to 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, where I served as Assistant Operations Officer and Officer in Charge of breaching the divisions’ left [inaudible] to create two emergency lanes to evacuate casualties if needed.

On the 23rd of February, 1991, the eve prior to our ground attack, we moved into our attack position approximately 2-1/2 to 3 miles from the border of Kuwait near the area known as the Umm Gudair Oil field. On G-Day 24 February, 1991, we were to link up with a section of tanks. This never happened. In the confusion, I radioed to the battalion 3 to let him know the situation. I decided to halt my men south of the berm dividing Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

I proceeded about 500 metres to the East via Humvee with my driver and radio man to a traffic control point. As we approached, we received the hand and orb signal for chemical attack. We put on our mask and gloves. In doing so, I recall my right hand feeling cool and tingling. I was mad because we were just starting, and already receiving the signs for chemicals.

I jumped from the vehicle and asked the MP in strong [inaudible] language who had told him to go to MOPP Level 4. He pointed to another Marine whom I asked the same question. He told me, “Someone on the radio.” We drove back and radioed to my Marines to get to MOPP Level 4. When we arrived somewhere, others were not. The driver and I jumped from the vehicle giving the signals for chemicals. I approached the MP controlling traffic to ask why he wasn’t in MOPP Level 4. He told me the alarm was false. I was angry and removed my mask. I now feel that was a mistake.

I radioed to the Battalion 3 and told him, “We are rolling and we have not made contact with the tanks.” He said, “Okay.” Within a minute of rolling he called back saying that, “Your lane is dirty. Chemical mine has gone off. Go to MOPP 4.” I called back and verified his statement. Then I told him, “Roger that.” We all went to MOPP 4. Lane Red One was the lane where the chemical mine detonated.

After about 30 minutes, we had finished firing line charges. We had several mines that needed to be cleared from the hedgerow. We were still in MOPP 4, and I radioed to the Battalion 3 asking where we would decontaminate. A Lieutenant told me that we should check to see if chemicals were in the air. I again asked, “Where we would decontaminate.” I received the same response. I was mad and hung up.

We stayed in MOPP 4 another 2-1/2 to 3 hours. During this time, much of the division moved quickly through the area, some in MOPP 4, others not. Although we had finished our portion of the lane, we remained by Lane Red One because the Four Right Flank was having great difficulty due to the density of the mine field. The battalion commander wanted us all to proceed to the next obstacle belt together.

I remember a dead camel lying by the entrance to our lane. It did not have any insects feeding on it.

After several hours in MOPP 4, I had my driver check the area for chemicals. After we determined that chemicals were no longer present, my driver selectively unmasked. Then, after he displayed no symptoms, I had my other Marines unmask.

I forgot to mention that once we arrived at the breach site, I had communicated directly with the Lieutenant working with me asking if he felt funny or if he was having problems breathing. He told me he didn’t think so, but he asked why. I told him that I felt funny.

I also recall two large explosions while we were breaching that I thought were [inaudible]. However, they only left dust clouds after they hit. I now believe they may have been chemical rounds.

We remained between the two mine fields the night of 24 February, 1991, and the next day and night, 25 February, 1991. On the 25th, I heard a large explosion in the area. The following day we moved to an area known as the “Ice Cube Tray” where we built a POW camp. I later learned the area just north was the headquarters for the Iraqi Chemical Brigade. During our movement to this area, we heard several explosions. I am not sure what they were.

A few days later, 28 February, 1991, we moved to an area about 8 miles southwest of Kuwait City near a small town called Al Jahrah. I later learned this area was an old garbage dump that had been covered.

Around the beginning of March, perhaps the 10th, I became very ill with flu-like symptoms. I remember many others were ill also. Around the 22nd of February I started taking Pyridostigmine Bromide pills (PB) for anti-nerve agent protection. I believe I took the pills for 11-14 days.

Once we returned to Saudi Arabia in early April, I began to have some difficulty with sleep. This continued upon my return home 15 May, 1991, until early July, at which time I was having difficulty reading and remembering what I had read. I was extremely aggressive, moody and excitable. I had headaches, vomiting and diarrhea. I was also diagnosed with moderate depression. I was given medications for several months at which time the majority of the symptoms went away.

I continued to have headaches almost on a daily basis, and took as many as 8 to 10 aspirins a day until April, 1995. Besides the headaches, I felt I was not able to breathe as well when I ran. In May of 1994, I noticed a decrease in my upper body strength. In early July, I had a lump on my throat area the size of a walnut. I was not sick. I had a friend who was a medical doctor come to my home to examine me. He was not sure what caused the lump. It remained for 1-1/2 to 2 weeks.

In October, 1994, I experienced problems with my throat muscles and coughed very frequently and uncontrollably. There were times when my throat muscles would constrict, and I could not breathe for 10 to 15 seconds.

In November of the same year, I noticed atrophy in my right arm and hand and began having difficulty controlling my hand and arm.

In January, 1995, while being evaluated at Nashville Naval Medical Center, I developed another lump on the right side of my face just forward of my right ear. It also was the size of a walnut.

During the same three-week period, I had a very large rash from the middle of my nose to the middle of my forehead which was red, swollen, and extremely itchy. Also, it had three white, watery pustules. When the rash subsided, I was left with a scar inbetween my eyebrows.

From January, 1995, until October, 1995, I was evaluated at several different hospitals. During some of these visits, I saw, spoke to, and learned of other servicemen and women who served in the Gulf who were having problems. These problems included cancer, respiratory disease, muscle twitches, fatigue, memory loss, joint pains, ulcers, rashes, lumps under the skin, hearing problems, atrophy of one limb, atrophy of the brain, insomnia, depression, heart problems, tearing of the eyes, and others.

During this time, I developed a rash on my buttocks, tearing of the eyes with burning, and occasional ringing in both ears.

In October, 1995, I was diagnosed with ALS, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

I believe the medical problems I have discussed are due to low-level chemical exposure over an extended period.

I learned after the war, that the chemical mine detonated in Lane Red One, was confirmed for the nerve agent Sarin, and also the agent Lewicite Mustard Gas by a Fox Vehicle in the lane. I also learned that two Marines in an Amtrak received chemical burns, and that the chemical mine confirmation was reported by the Regimental Commander of the 6th Marines. It was also reported up the chain of command by the 2nd Marine Division Commander.

It has been brought to my attention that there have been at least seven other cases of ALS in service members who served in the Gulf. To me, this is more than chance or coincidence.

Besides myself, there have been numerous others with various experiences. For example:

1. I have spoken to a Marine who believes a missile attack occurred in Algabal that was a chemical attack. He made the duty officer from the 2nd Division read the Division Logbook to him. He has the statement recorded on audiotape. It says that mustard gas was detected.

2. I have also spoken to a Marine who was evaluated with several other Marines from his squad upon their return from the war. They were told they were being studied for adverse effects from the desert sun. They were told this by someone who he believes was a civilian doctor. They all were observed for one week. The following week, the Marines went back to the hospital to find the results. They were told that they were never there. Also, there is not an indication in their records they were ever there.

3. I have learned of a Marine Corps investigation that was directed at the General Officer level, to determine the possible exposure to chemical agents of Marine Sergeant Randy G. Wheeler. As a result of that investigation, I have learned of other chemical detections just to our northeast, near Al Jabir Airfield, in the 1st Marine Division’s area, both on the 24th and 25th of February, 1991. One of the opinions of the General Officer reviewing the investigation was that “Sergeant Wheeler may be suffering from exposure to chemicals or other contaminants, and his condition may be combat-related.”

Finally, on 12 November, 1996, the Commandante of the Marine Corps was speaking at Camp Lejeune. I had an opportunity to ask him if the Marine Corps had an official position on Gulf War Syndrome Illness. The Commandante told me that the Marine Corps does have a position, and they believe chemical weapons were used. He also said the Marine Corps is in the process of trying to contact Marines who may have been exposed.

In conclusion, I believe with 100% certainty, that chemicals and possibly biological agents were used during the war –

[Amy Goodman] And that was the father of Marine Corps Major Randy Aber who testified yesterday along with other Persian Gulf War Veterans on Capitol Hill. That testimony continues today. You’re listening to DemocracyNow! If you’d like to get a copy of today’s show, you can call 1-800-735-0230.
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Re: Mrs. Kay Griggs on How the Government Works

Postby admin » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:30 am

The 96th Annual Virginia Maritime Association Banquet
by T. Parker Host
May 13, 2016



T. Parker Host and our guests attended the 96th Annual Virginia Maritime Association Banquet last night, and hosted get-togethers before and after at local restaurants.

We enjoyed spending time with our much-appreciated business partners and friends, and we thank the VMA for putting together another fantastic event this year!

The VMA was organized in 1920 to promote, protect and encourage international and domestic commerce through Virginia's Ports. With a membership of over 450 companies, employing over 70,000 Virginians, the Virginia Maritime Association is widely recognized as "The Voice of Port Industries." The VMA is the primary advocate for the interests of the maritime industry, developing opportunities for its membership and Virginia's ports.
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Re: Mrs. Kay Griggs on How the Government Works

Postby admin » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:16 am

Rock Hudson's Wife Secretly Recorded His Gay Confession
by Stephen Galloway
7:00 AM PDT 6/6/2013



Hudson was fed wedding cake by his bride, Phyllis, at a reception following their surprise wedding in 1955. Inset: Fred Otash

The Hollywood Reporter obtained private eye Fred Otash's secret files, which also reveal a recording of JFK and Marilyn Monroe having sex and where Judy Garland hid her pills.

This story first appeared in the June 14 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

On January 21, 1958, Rock Hudson's wife confronted him, demanding to know if he was gay and grilling the actor about a Rorschach test he had taken. "You told me you saw thousands of butterflies and also snakes," she said "[A therapist] told me in my analysis that butterflies mean femininity and snakes represent that male penis. I'm not condemning you, but it seems that as long as you recognize your problem, you would want to do something about it." She also complained about "your great speed with me, sexually. Are you that fast with boys?"

"Well, it's a physical conjunction [sic]," replied Rock, then 32. "Boys don't fit. So, this is why it lasts longer."

Added Phyllis: "Everyone knows that you were picking up boys off the street shortly after we were married and have continued to do so, thinking that being married would cover up for you."

"I have never picked up any boys on the street," Rock insisted. "I have never picked up any boys in a bar, never. I have never picked up any boys, other than to give them a ride."

This eye-popping dialogue -- tape-recorded surreptitiously by a detective whom Phyllis had hired to check on her husband, and transcribed on thin, crinkly paper -- is just part of the startling material that comprises the secret files of private eye Fred Otash. Now unveiled for the first time to The Hollywood Reporter by the detective's daughter, Colleen, and her business partner Manfred Westphal (a veteran publicist with APA, whose parents were Otash's neighbors), the records fill 11 overflowing boxes that for two decades have been hidden inside a storage unit in the San Fernando Valley.


Otash was the Anthony Pellicano of his era, a notorious Hollywood gumshoe who charged hundreds of dollars per day and spied on everyone from Hudson to Marilyn Monroe to John F. Kennedy. A big, burly man who left the Los Angeles Police Department in 1955 after falling out with Chief William H. Parker, he was the go-to guy for some of Hollywood's top attorneys, including Melvin Belli and Jerry Giesler, and operated from the mid-1950s until he lost his private investigator's license in 1965.

Mike Wallace called him the "most amoral" man he had ever interviewed, and Robert Towne used him for inspiration when he wrote his Oscar-winning screenplay for 1974's Chinatown, about a morally dubious private eye played by Jack Nicholson. "There were several people I drew on," Towne says. "But he was one of them."

Born in 1922, the 6-foot-2 Otash grew up in Methuen, Mass., but left home to serve in the Marines before joining the LAPD. After exiting the police force, he set up the Fred Otash Detective Bureau on North Laurel Avenue in Hollywood, where he worked as a freelancer and "fact verifier" for notorious L.A. celebrity tattle magazine Confidential. Among the cases he reportedly worked on were Confidential's outing of Liberace and a gay pajama party with Tab Hunter. He once said: "I'll work for anybody but communists. I'll do anything short of murder."

Using a gun strapped to his calf and a specially designed truck loaded with surveillance equipment, Otash was hardly modest about his achievements.

He was "unreliable and unruly," says John Buntin in his 2010 nonfiction work L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America's Most Seductive City.

"He was a con artist, bullshitter," insists novelist James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential), who met Otash several times before his death. "He did a lot of bad things [including] revealing secret details, mostly sexual in nature, about the lives of celebrated people, causing them to endure personal shame, emotional hardship, financial privation -- and doing this for a living. … He was always talking about bugging [JFK brother-in-law] Peter Lawford's beach pad and getting the goods on Kennedy. He told me Jack [sexually] was a two-minute man. But I did not trust him not to dissemble. I got what I could, and he died."

Otash is a recurrent figure in Ellroy's work and the subject of his recent e-book Shakedown, in which a fictionalized version of the detective looks back on his life from "Pervert Purgatory" and describes himself as a "rogue cop, private eye, shakedown artist. Soldier of fortune and demonic deus ex machina. The hellhound who held Hollywood captive. The man with all the sicko secrets you irksome earthlings want to hear."

In Shakedown, Otash gloats about his misdeeds and also about having an affair with a transsexual communist named Miss Bonvillain -- which Ellroy says should be interpreted as a joke. But that's not the way Colleen sees it.

"I was stunned," she says of the novella, admitting she never finished it and wondered, " 'What can we do to stop him from taking my father's life and turning it into just a horrible fictional depiction?' It was really insulting to me. I was very aggrieved." Adds Westphal, "Real-life franchise characters like Otash come along once in a lifetime, and Colleen and I are committed to setting the record straight. Here, the truth is far more entertaining than fiction."

In an attempt to counter Ellroy's view (and perhaps anticipate an even more negative portrayal in a pilot about the private eye that Ellroy is developing for FX), Colleen and Westphal recently allowed this reporter access to several of the files and an unpublished book Otash wrote about Marilyn Monroe in which he claims he overheard Monroe having sex with JFK.

Among the highlights:


"Marilyn wanted a mini-phone listening device," Otash claims in the notes, adding that he spied on her even while she was paying him to install recording equipment so that she could tape her own phone calls. "You could hide it in your bra. The microphone was a wristwatch. You could also put a suction cup on the phone. Later on, she wanted a sophisticated system put in her house. We wired up her phone because it started looking stupid with a suction cup."

Otash listened in on Marilyn having sex with Kennedy when he was watching Lawford's house in Malibu, allegedly while working for Howard Hughes, who was seeking general information with which to discredit the Democrats. "When the original Lawford house was wired, Monroe was not part of the plan," Otash says in the files. "It was to find out what the Democrats were up to on behalf of Howard Hughes and Nixon. Monroe became a by-product."

The files include notes that he left for Colleen, in which he says he was conducting surveillance of Marilyn Monroe on the day she died.

“I listened to Marilyn Monroe die,” he claims in the notes, without elaborating, adding that he had taped an angry confrontation among Bobby Kennedy, Lawford and Monroe just hours before her death: “She said she was passed around like a piece of meat. It was a violent argument about their relationship and the commitment and promises he made to her. She was really screaming and they were trying to quiet her down. She’s in the bedroom and Bobby gets the pillow and he muffles her on the bed to keep the neighbors from hearing. She finally quieted down and then he was looking to get out of there.”

Otash only learned that Monroe had died when Lawford called him in the early hours of the following day and asked him to remove any incriminating evidence from her house. There is no record of what was removed, and the alleged tapes have since disappeared.

Shortly before Otash's death in 1992 at the age of 70, he told Vanity Fair: "I would have kept it quiet all my life. But all of a sudden, I'm looking at FBI files and CIA files with quotes from my investigators telling them about the work they did on my behalf. It's stupid to sit here and deny that these things are true. Yes, we did have [Lawford's house] wired. Yes, I did hear a tape of Jack Kennedy f--ing Monroe. But I don't want to get into the moans and groans of their relationship. They were having a sexual relationship -- period."


One of the files also centers on Judy Garland, who hired Otash to protect her after she split from her third husband, Sid Luft, in 1963. The actress even got him to move into her Holmby Hills home, where he befriended daughter Liza Minnelli and found a hidden stash of pills. (A rep for Minnelli declined comment.)

The files elaborate on an experience he outlined in his 1976 autobiography, Investigation Hollywood: "I was shocked when I met Judy Garland the first time. She was no longer the little girl I remembered but a grown woman, puffy-faced and more than a little plump. ... I was only in Judy's house a couple of days when I realized that she was taking something. I wasn't sure if she was using narcotics or boozing it up. But she was obviously out of it most of the time."

He continued: "I gathered up all the bottles and locked them up. Then I began the search for pills. You wouldn't believe the cleverness of that woman in stashing her drugs so nobody could find them. And there were all kinds. Uppers, downers and some I didn't even recognize. They were stuffed into a hole she'd cut under the mattress and in rubber fingers tied at the top with the string tied again around the faucet of the washbasin. The pills were down in the crook of the pipe, and when she wanted them she just pulled them up by the almost invisible string. I dumped all that junk down the toilet and flushed it away."

When Otash confronted Garland, she demanded to know why he had destroyed the stash. He told her: "Narcotics and alcohol are the best evidence he [Luft] could ever produce in court. Believe me."


The detective also might have been involved in one of the most celebrated murders of the era, that of mobster Johnny Stompanato, though he gave various accounts of precisely how. Documents in the files indicate that Giesler (who represented movie star Lana Turner) called Otash and asked him to come to the actress' house the night of the gangster's death.

Stompanato had been dating Turner when, on the night of April 4, 1958, police were called to her house, where they found the gangster stabbed to death. Turner's teenage daughter, Cheryl Crane, then 14, took the blame, explaining that Stompanato had attacked her mother and that she had acted in defense -- an explanation accepted by the courts, where the death was ruled justifiable homicide. (The files indicate that Cheryl's father, Stephen Crane, had asked Otash to keep an eye on his daughter, and that he was afraid she was the object of Stompanato's desire.)

Westphal says Otash told him that he was on the scene of the crime before the police and actually removed the knife from the dead man's body, placing it in Crane's hand.

But in a 1991 Los Angeles magazine profile, Otash gave another account, saying: "Beverly Hills police chief Clinton Anderson once accused me of removing the knife from Stompanato's body, wiping off Lana Turner's fingerprints, putting on Cheryl Crane's fingerprints and then shoving the knife back into the body. Crazy."


Within the files, there also are surveillance records dating from the time Otash was hired by Bette Davis to snoop on her husband Gary Merrill while she was in the process of divorcing him, after which two Otash operatives testified in court that they saw Merrill leave a Newport Beach, Calif., hotel while he "went out on the town" and made "flirtatious gestures with girls."


Otash kept working as a P.I. until his license was revoked by California's Bureau of Private Investigators, partly because of his connection to Confidential (whose reign of fear effectively ended following a much-publicized libel case in 1957) and partly because of his association with several jockeys who were involved in a doping case. Later, he earned a living as head of security for cosmetics company Hazel Bishop Inc.

His tapes have vanished, and now only his files remain as evidence of his secret activities. But more information may yet emerge.

On the night of his death, Otash left his West Hollywood apartment to attend a Friars Club dinner celebrating the completed first draft of his unpublished book, Marilyn, the Kennedys and Me. He came home later that evening then, mysteriously, at around 4 a.m. called for a taxi to take him to LAX.

At about 7 a.m., the taxi arrived, but there was no Otash. A doorman called Westphal's parents (Otash's neighbors and friends), who entered the snoop's Park Wellington apartment in West Hollywood and found him lying facedown under the kitchen table, dead of a heart attack, it later was concluded.

Soon after, his executor, famed attorney Arthur Crowley, arrived and stripped the condo of its contents -- including a red filing cabinet that contained material nobody close to the detective ever got to read.

Says Westphal: "He put a shackle on the door, emptied the condo, and nothing inside was ever seen again."

Shirley Halperin contributed to this story.

See the transcript of Rock Hudson's gay confession below:

Rock: (continued) I can go as yet. I've been busy. I just feel I would like to go somewhere. Get away.

Phyllis: You know Dr. Rankin knows your problems.

Rock: How?

Phyllis: [DELETE]

Rock: [DELETE] I didn't try to cover up anything.

Phyllis: They wouldn't do any good if you lied. You would only be lying to yourself.

Rock: I told Dr. Rankin everything. I didn't hedge on anything at all.

Phyllis: You mean about homo-sexuality?

Rock: Yes, I told him everything, but I told you we were just talking about the movies.

Phyllis: Then what kept you from going back to him?

Rock: Oh, he doesn't say anything. He wants me to do all the talking, and he just sits back and never says a word.

Phyllis: Rock, you are supposed to talk, not him. He is there to understand and guide you. There isn't anything glandular about your homo-sexuality, it is only a freezing at an emotional state, and it's up to the individual to grow out of it. Everyone has to help themself Rock. No one can do it for you. Rock, your great speed with me, sexually. Are you that fast with boys?
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Re: Mrs. Kay Griggs on How the Government Works

Postby admin » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:00 am

Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.: Gay & Bisexual Men of Importance
by Terry, Gay Influence
January 1, 2018



Here you will discover the back stories of kings, titans of industry, stellar athletes, giants of the entertainment field, scientists, politicians, artists and heroes – all of them gay or bisexual men. If their lives can serve as role models to young men who have been bullied or taught to think less of themselves for their sexual orientation, all the better. The sexual orientation of those featured here did not stand in the way of their achievements.


Automotive industry heir Walter P. Chrysler Jr. (1909-1988) was the son of a man who had amassed a great fortune in founding the Chrysler Corporation. Walter Jr., knowing that he would inherit vast sums of money, could thus indulge his passion for collecting art, an obsession that resulted in transforming a minor provincial museum in Norfolk, Va., into one of the nation’s best, the Chrysler Museum of Art.

Walter Jr., who was a theatrical producer*, hung out in locations that had strong ties to the homosexual community. Although throughout his life he attempted to appear as a straight man, he had a home in Key West and displayed his growing art collection in Provincetown, Massachusetts, in a 19th-century church building he bought from the Methodists. The museum was nicknamed by locals as “The First Church of Chrysler” or “St. Walter’s”. The structure today serves as the Provincetown library.

*Among many others, he produced New Faces of 1952, which launched the careers of Eartha Kitt, Paul Lynde and Carol Lawrence. Chrysler also produced the film "The Joe Louis Story."

In 1956, Chrysler retired from business to devote his full-time attention to the arts. Soon thereafter an article appeared in Confidential magazine that exposed his homosexual activity, and there had been persistent reports that he had been discharged from the Navy because “he was found to be homosexual.” It was extraordinary for a healthy man to be discharged from the military during wartime.*

"Walter was transferred to Key West, and the rumors were flying. He got out of the navy. Now, we should have known that that was a strange thing, to be released from the navy during wartime."

Those rumors were spelled out in a 1955 Confidential Magazine article entitled "The Strange Case of Walter Chrysler Jr." It claimed Chrysler was forced to resign by the secretary of the navy because he'd been having "notorious wild parties" in his private Key West Home. R.L. Blazevig, a retired naval aviator who was also based at N.A.S. Key West during World War II, remembered instead that Chrysler was discharged because he was "found to be gay." Chrysler's own explanation for his December 5, 1944, departure was a recurrence of his ulcer problems.

Soon after Chrysler resigned his commission, Jean was invited to North Wales for the weekend. It was there that Chrysler proposed marriage to her. The wedding took place on a Saturday morning, January 13, 1945, in a simple ceremony at Norfolk's Freemason Street Baptist Church. The bride had no attendants and wore an aquamarine wool crepe dress.

"Nobody knew it was going to happen," Smith said. "It was a big secret. That was Walter's wish." Smith recalled that the Chryslers honeymooned at the Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia, but wondered, "Why go anywhere when you've got North Wales? They had an absolutely wonderful staff; they built a swimming pool and a tennis court. It was a dazzling place," Smith said. Jean Chrysler's siblings were invited to the estate on several occasions and were amazed by the art on view. They played bridge under a Velazquez; there was a Gilbert Stuart painting of George Washington over the mantel and a Degas in the dining room. In the North Wales drawing room hung the Picasso of two women at a bar that Chrysler had bought as part of his and Gertrude Stein's scheme to help the young Parisian gallery owners.

-- Legacy: Walter Chrysler Jr. and the Untold Story of Norfolk's Chrysler, by Peggy Earle

Again, according to Earle, “That Chrysler led something of a double life was widely acknowledged. The fact that he was gay was noted by many of those who knew him professionally and personally. As Chrysler biographer Vincent Cursio mentioned, ‘ 1938 there was enormous social pressure on gay men to marry and give the appearance of living a normal life.’ ” Walter Jr. married twice, but there were no children. His first wife, Peggy Sykes, whose marriage to Chrysler lasted less than two years, left a man with few friends. She noted that the major love of his life was "art collecting." Peggy stopped inviting people to their home for socializing, because Chrysler would usually freeze out everyone, often refusing even to speak to their guests. Further alienation arose from his tendency to pay bills late, or not at all.

*Peggy Earle, “Legacy, Walter Chrysler Jr. and the Untold Story of Norfolk’s Chrysler Museum of Art.”

While a 14-year-old boy attending prep school, Walter Jr. purchased his first painting, a watercolor nude, with $350 in birthday money from his father. A dorm master considered the piece lewd and destroyed it – a Renoir! Undeterred, he continued to collect art, but there were scandals along the way. Many of the artworks he purchased and displayed were called out as fakes. For that reason, Newport, RI, refused to accept the gift of his collection, which had outgrown its home in Provincetown. In spite of such notoriety, Walter Jr. had impressive credentials – he had been a key figure in the creation of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. However, much of his personal collection had to be stored in warehouses and lent out to museums across the country.


Walter Jr.’s second wife was from Norfolk, and he had himself been a Navy man stationed there, so he ultimately found success in 1971 when he presented Norfolk, Va., with his impressive collection of 10,000 art objects, to be housed in the Norfolk Academy of Arts and Sciences, which had been built in 1932. A condition of the gift was that the academy be renamed the Chrysler Museum of Art. As New York Times art critic John Russell said, "It would be difficult to spend time in the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Virginia, and not come away convinced that the most underrated American art collector of the past 50 years and more was the late Walter P. Chrysler, Jr." Chrysler's collection is especially strong in art glass and incorporates a large body of Tiffany lamps. Louis Comfort Tiffany had been his neighbor when Walter Jr. was growing up on Long Island.

Walter P. Chrysler Jr. enjoying a light-hearted moment with artist Andy Warhol:


Update: New photos of of the North Wales estate have become available, so I added them to this previous post.

Your blogger’s determined effort to enjoy a glorious fall day resulted in a drive to Warrenton, VA, a sleepy town in the center of fox hunting country. A brief conversation with locals informed me that North Wales, the estate formerly owned by Walter P. Chrysler Jr., had been sold recently. This morning I enjoyed researching the estate’s history to provide an update to this blog post about Mr. Chrysler.




In 1941, one year after his father’s death, Walter P. Chrysler Jr. used a portion of his recent inheritance to buy North Wales Farm (above), a fabled estate just outside Warrenton, Va., 45 miles west of Washington, DC (and a mere 30 miles from the home of your blogger). With a purchase price of $175,000, the property soon saw further expansion and improvements. The recently divorced Chrysler spent an additional $7.5 million on the estate, expanding the property to 4,200 acres. At the epicenter was a 56-room stone mansion (38,500 sq. ft. including 22 bedrooms, 17 baths and 16 fireplaces), formal gardens, tennis courts, ponds, bridges, fountains, not to mention miles of stone and board fences enclosing an estate that boasted more than 35 out-buildings.


The oldest part of the house, dating back to 1776, was a mere 5-bay two-story stone manor house (above) built for William Allason. In 1914 North Wales was bought by Edward M. Weld of New York. In 1930 Fortune magazine noted that Weld "stretched the house to 37 rooms, built a riding stable of 40 stalls and a six furlong race track, stocked the cellar with $50,000 worth of liquors and went broke." North Wales was then converted to an exclusive private club for the fox hunting and horse breeding set. In 1941 Chrysler returned the mansion and estate grounds to private use. At the time of Chrysler's residency the expanded mansion numbered more than 50 rooms, providing plenty of space for Chrysler to display highlights of his vast art collection of Monets, Picassos, Rodins, Braques, Matisses and the like. He then set about constructing more than 35 miles of internal, paved roads while adding a conservatory to the mansion (for his mother’s orchids), a swimming pool, an arcaded entrance to the equestrian center and a brick isolation barn.


Under Chrysler’s ownership, North Wales, with sweeping views of the Blue Ridge mountains, essentially functioned as its own community, home to a commercial poultry operation and various agricultural enterprises. Although he also raised cattle and sheep, Chrysler ensured that the estate retained its fame as a center for fox hunting and thoroughbred horse breeding. The splendidly furnished mansion was the site of many lavish charity events. Chrysler remarried in 1945, and his new bride used North Wales Farm as a center for raising champion long-haired Chihuahuas. However, in 1957 Chrysler sold North Wales Farm, a year after he retired from business in order to devote himself full time to the arts. The following year he opened the Chrysler Museum of Art in Provincetown, Massachusetts, in a former church.


Now reduced to 1,470 acres, North Wales was purchased in 2014 by former Goldman Sachs partner David B. Ford of Greenwich, CT, for $21 million. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Mr. Ford had made headlines eight years earlier when he purchased the 30,000 sq. ft. French neoclassical-style Miramar mansion in Newport, RI, built in 1915 for the widow of Philadelphia mogul George Widener. Ford currently owns both mansions, all the better to avoid a cramped lifestyle (38,500 + 30,000 = 68,500 sq. ft. of luxe living). Impressive. Ford is also Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra Association and Chairman of the National Audubon Society.
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Re: Mrs. Kay Griggs on How the Government Works

Postby admin » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:29 am

Encounters With a Man of Mystery
by Carla Hall
July 23, 1986



It was a crazy day, the kind that made her ask what she had gotten herself into, she confesses in the book. The gardener is making an ice cream sundae in the kitchen, the butler is scurrying across the patio wearing only a towel, the ex-lover is washing his vintage car out front, and Rock Hudson is sitting at the kitchen table reading his mail.

"The first question I asked him was, 'Why do you want to do this book?' " says Sara Davidson, the 43-year-old author of "Rock Hudson: His Story." "It seemed odd," she says. "There I am walking into the house of a man dying of AIDS and he wants to start a book."

She had never written about celebrities. Beverly Hills was, from Davidson's perspective, far from the milieu of "Loose Change," her bestselling book about three women growing up in the 1960s.

According to Davidson, "He said, 'So much expletive has been written about me. It's time to set things straight.' Those are his exact words. I have them on tape. He said, 'It's time to tell the whole story. It's time to tell the truth about me.' "

The statement is part of the controversy surrounding this biography of Hudson -- the number one box office star of the late '50s and early '60s, a matinee idol who hid his homosexuality from the public until he collapsed in a Paris hotel last summer and revealed an even bigger secret -- he was suffering from AIDS.

At issue is whether Hudson was in any condition to cooperate with Davidson on a book that is supposedly their collaboration and bears his name as coauthor. Since last summer, there have been allegations that all this was being done while Hudson was too sick to know about it. After Burt Lancaster read a statement in Hudson's name at an AIDS benefit in Los Angeles last summer, it was revealed that the actor never wrote it -- although he did approve it, according to his publicist, Dale Olson.

*"I don't want to make any false pretenses," Davidson says. "I did not have an enormous amount of time with him. I'm not claiming that I did."

What time she did have was valuable, she says. "About whether he was lucid or not, it was not a thing where he suddenly went snap," Davidson says, snapping her fingers, "and he was a vegetable. It was absolutely not like that. He had good days -- the first day I met him he was downstairs talking to people, telling jokes, entertaining, sharp. He looked me right in the eye. We sat . . . with the tape recorder going and did an interview for 45 minutes. I said to him, 'Are you getting tired?' He said, 'Yeah, a little.' I said, 'Well, I live nearby and I can come by day or night whenever you're up to it.' He said, 'Oh, it's great to have that freedom.' "

On his worst days, "he was asleep, he opened his eyes, smiled . . . or on the other days he would start a sentence and then kind of in the middle lose his train of thought, and up to the end he'd have a great day and then a terrible day."

*She met him Sept. 4, 1985, and until his death Oct. 2, at 59, she went to his sprawling Beverly Hills home -- dubbed The Castle by Hudson's friends -- almost daily, sometimes asking no more than one question or requesting a point of clarification. "You know, he was not an easy interview... He did not like talking about himself," she says.

What she found was a "sphinxlike" man, who told different stories of his life to different people. The system may have forced him to lead a double life
, but he rarely chafed at Hollywood. He thrived there. "It was his kingdom," says Davidson.

He had a funny retort for everything and he made everyone laugh -- from friends to fellow actors on the set. He was almost childlike in his love of games and skits at parties. He gave pet names to friends as well as the rooms in his beloved Beverly Hills home where he kept lots of dogs and treated the staff like his family.

Davidson longed for enough time to get to the point where she could joke with him. She says she was told by Hudson's associates that he specifically wanted a woman to write his story. "He felt that if a gay man did it, it would be a gay book," Davidson says, " . . . and he felt that if a straight man wrote it, a lot of it would have been threatening and disturbing and that he wouldn't have been able to write with sympathy."

In the end, she says, she had three good 45-minute interview sessions with Hudson. There are few quotes from Hudson to Davidson; she re-creates his voice from recollections of friends and associates and excerpts from the extensive oral history Hudson gave a Southern Methodist University professor three years ago.

*Davidson and Hudson never discussed his feelings about being gay. They only peripherally discussed AIDS.

"When you begin a book with someone you don't just go in there the first day and start firing off the most blunt horrible questions like, 'When did you know you were gay?' 'Why didn't you tell Marc Christian one of his last lovers you had AIDS?' You don't start like that or the person turns off. You have to establish a relationship of trust and openness . . . If I was there long enough and he saw me, we would develop this relationship where he would begin to open up." She pauses. "I didn't have time for that."

And Hudson knew she wouldn't. During one of her early visits to his house, she recalls, in the presence of his longtime friend and secretary, Mark Miller, "he turned to Mark and said, 'You know the whole story. You're going to have to do it for me.' "

The day he died, Davidson was in New York with Miller, interviewing Yanou Collart, the French publicist who made the announcement of Hudson's illness last summer in Paris.

*The last day she saw him, Sept. 30, she was told before going into his room that he was in terrible shape. "I went in and he was sleeping and as I just stood there he opened his eyes and looked at me with clear recognition. And he smiled this smile of such radiance that it absolutely stunned me. It was like there was nothing left in his body . . . He looked right into my eyes -- it wasn't an unfocused thing -- and smiled at me as if there was really a connection there. I said something like 'Rock, we're all praying for you' -- I don't know what I said. And he said, 'Thanks.' "

Despite the joint byline, the book (now No. 3 on The New York Times best-seller list) was really a collaboration with Mark Miller and George Nader -- a longtime couple and 30-year friends of Hudson's -- and Tom Clark, Hudson's former lover who came back to be with Hudson at the end.

As something of a counterpoint to Davidson's book is an "unauthorized" biography called "Idol: Rock Hudson, The True Story of an American Film Hero" by Jerry Oppenheimer and Jack Vitek.

Both books reach many of the same conclusions. But Davidson had extraordinary access to the friends and lovers of a man who had zealously guarded his private life, and she sees this as a key to uncovering Hudson.

Oppenheimer has the opposite view. "Miller is a defendant in Marc Christian's lawsuit," Oppenheimer says, referring to the suit by Hudson's lover from whom Hudson withheld information of his illness.

Nonetheless, Davidson has much more about his romantic relationships, more poignant details and more explicit ones, too.
Ironically, the overall portrait in the Oppenheimer/Vitek book -- which comes with a slip of paper wrapped around it ominously warning "UNAUTHORIZED" -- is rather gentler than Davidson's. With some exceptions.

Oppenheimer and Vitek contend that Hudson continued to have sex after he was diagnosed as having AIDS.

Davidson portrays Hudson -- especially as the illness progressed -- as ashamed of his disease and disinterested in sex. "I'm not saying he did or he didn't" have sex after his diagnosis, she says. "I couldn't find any evidence." Davidson writes that Hudson was mortified that he had to kiss actress Linda Evans on the set of "Dynasty" and that day used every mouthwash he could get his hands on.

Oppenheimer relates a different story. "There were eight or nine takes," Oppenheimer says. "Rock later boasted to someone that he planted a big fat juicy one on her. I think it was not that he had no concern for this woman but that his mind had just gone up in space by that time."

But the texture of Hudson's life as Davidson portrays it has less to do with AIDS and more to do with the Hollywood star system that molded him and forced him into a double life while making him rich and famous.

"I knew I wanted to be an actor when I was a little boy," Hudson said in the SMU interview. "But living in a small town in the Middle West, I didn't say so, because that's just sissy stuff."

So after a boyhood in Winnetka, Ill., just north of Chicago, and a stint in the Navy, Hudson went off to California. He started out an awkward, not particularly handsome, amateurish actor. One of his screen tests at Fox is still shown, Davidson writes, as an example of how far one can go from bad actor to star.

In the end, his first dramatic stumblings didn't matter -- "He had a face which the camera loved," a friend told Davidson.

There were starring roles in B movies and then his first major film, "Magnificent Obsession," in 1954 with Jane Wyman. Hudson and his lover at the time slipped into a sneak preview unbeknownst to the other moviegoers. When the film was over, Hudson ran to his car and sat there sobbing. "He knew at that moment he was a star," Davidson writes. Two years later, George Stevens' film "Giant" won Hudson an Academy Award nomination.

Hudson basked in his stardom. He imperiously set the time when he wanted to see friends, he was rude to waiters and at home, when entertaining guests, he made conversation stop when he answered the phone.

Even so, in Hollywood, Hudson was always considered a generous man. He went wild at Christmas buying gifts for friends. When Watts was burning, Hudson -- never politically active -- drove his housekeeper through riot-torn streets to get a friend of hers and take her back to his Beverly Hills home.

All during this time, Hudson kept his private life and his acting life separate. "This was the 'Dark Ages' when there was no such word as 'gay,' " Davidson writes. "Homosexuals were 'fairies' who were ridiculed and shunned."

One of Hudson's closer calls came in 1954 when the magazine Confidential wanted to write an expose' of Hudson's homosexuality. (The story was never written.) Another close call came in 1971 when a group of gay men sent out gag invitations to a party in honor of Hudson and Jim Nabors' "wedding." The invitation reached a gossip columnist and eventually the false rumor that Hudson and Nabors were a "couple" spread like a brush fire that both Hudson and Nabors had to put out with public statements. According to Davidson, Hudson and Nabors were only casual friends, but the damage was done: Nabors' variety show on CBS was canceled.

-- Rock Hudson and Jim Nabors

All this never quenched Hudson's sexual thirst -- which, as he got older and his career declined, became almost insatiable, the author writes.

"My understanding was that he liked to have one main person and he liked to have other people," Davidson says. " . . . He liked threesomes. He was very interested in sex. He liked the challenge of a new person."

*Sometimes, he asked friends to arrange "beauties parties" for him where 50 beautiful young men -- most of whom Hudson didn't know -- would be invited to the actor's house.

What's amazing was that he never got "caught" in a public sense. "If you . . . invite 50 strange young guys into your house, how do you know one of them isn't going to go right to the National Enquirer and make $10,000 and say, 'I went to this party at Rock Hudson's house and there were 50 young men.' Why didn't anybody do that?" Davidson says.

He also liked women -- and they found him sexually magnetic. Susan Saint James his costar on the popular television show, "McMillan and Wife" told Davidson that she found it hard to believe that Hudson was gay: "I could hug Rock and get goose bumps," she said.

Similarly Doris Day told people who asked, "He seems very straight to me."

There's no better example of this than Phyllis Gates, who married Hudson in 1955. After their divorce three years later, it became Hollywood legend that theirs was the classic studio-arranged marriage. Davidson concludes that no one -- not even Gates herself -- will ever know. She writes that friends who socialized with the couple said they delighted in each other's company, and that Gates was in love with him.

And the marriage appeared to sour for common reasons -- he complained she was nagging and possessive; she said he was never around. "I don't believe he acted with cold calculation; he was a romantic," Davidson writes.

Shortly before he died, Davidson says, Mark Miller asked Hudson who in his life he had really loved, and he mentioned a man named Lee Garlington -- whom Davidson interviews in the book -- and Phyllis Gates.

Hudson never seemed tortured by the burden of two images. "When I started this," Davidson recalls, "my first question was, 'God, how could he have done this? Didn't it cost him? Didn't it hurt him inside? Didn't he pay a price for it?' And finally after three months, everybody saying, 'No,' I thought, 'Well, maybe they know something I don't."

Davidson says Hudson's torment began when his box office slipped in the late '60s. In the '70s, he would end up doing television -- which he had always disdained. Even "McMillan and Wife," a financial and popular success for Hudson, never satisfied him.

According to Davidson, there was some initial awkwardness between Hudson and Saint James, 20 years his junior. He saw her as a flower child who nursed her babies on the set; she saw him as an old-guard movie star who ate steak all the time and made fun of the environmental movement. But they eventually became friends, and their chemistry on screen was dynamite.

"I worshiped that man," Saint James told Davidson. She and her husband went to Hudson's house on Sunday nights to watch the show, and he cuddled her babies on the set.

But depressed by his work, Hudson went through a personal decline, drinking almost constantly. A quintuple heart bypass in 1981 reformed his drinking habits somewhat and gave him a restored outlook on life. Three years later, after a White House dinner, Hudson received a photograph of him with the Reagans, signed warmly by the couple. In the photo, Mark Miller noticed a large pimple on Hudson's neck that had been there for a year. Miller urged Hudson to check it out. The diagnosis came in June 1984. The lesion was Kaposi's sarcoma -- AIDS.

The attention that followed the announcement of his illness stunned him. There were reams of letters, offering support and medicinal cures. An affectionate telegram from Madonna -- he'd never met her -- left him baffled.

"Don't forget Rock was already a star who had waned . . . ," Davidson says. "He was already a has-been . . . suddenly he was in the headlines and on the covers of magazines. He was tickled. He was kind of enjoying the notoriety."

What Hudson did in the year between finding out he had AIDS and telling the world was risky to himself and others: Fortified by the experimental treatment HPA 23, he accepted a role on "Dynasty" even when his Paris doctors advised him to stay in France and receive more treatments.

His lover at the time of his diagnosis -- Marc Christian -- has been examined and shows no signs of the virus; he has, however, filed a suit against the estate. Davidson writes that Hudson never told Christian that he had AIDS because Hudson was afraid Christian would go to a newspaper with the story.

Christian's lawyer, Marvin Mitchelson, says that because the book relies mostly on Nader and Miller, "It's very colored by the fact that they're trying to protect Hudson. It does contain slander."

As for Christian's suit, "The simple fact is that he wasn't told and they continued to have a relationship for almost a year after he was diagnosed . . . Every day of Marc's life if he has a cold or anything, he'll think he has AIDS."

Reaction from Hudson's friends is mixed. "I like the book very much," says Hudson's business manager, Wallace Sheft, who is involved with the AIDS foundation, set up in Hudson's name, that will get a portion of the book profits. "There probably could have been some more compassionate anecdotes."

Dale Olson, Hudson's publicist at the time of his death, said, "I hate it. It's not about the man I knew." Olson does not fault Davidson -- "I think Sara is a good reporter and writer" -- but the people who talked to her. "When I finished reading that book I thought to myself they painted a picture of an egotistical, self-centered, promiscuous, narcissistic faggot. And he wasn't."

Hudson's friend, producer Stockton Briggle, who was at The Castle the day Hudson died says that Davidson "does capture him to a certain extent." But as for his promiscuity: "I was never witness to any kind of sexual excesses," Briggle says. Davidson writes about Hudson making the rounds of gay clubs with a friend in San Francisco. "I never knew him to do anything like that," Briggle says. "I was with him in a number of cities and he never expressed any interest."

Davidson calls her own experience working on the book "just a nightmare . . . " The prospect of the other Hudson biography in the works turned her own project into a "horse race," Davidson says. "I hated it. I gave up a year of my life," she says. "I didn't see my husband for a year. I didn't see my kids."

At the beginning she felt little for Hudson. "I'd never been a big fan of his," she says. " . . . and I was so nervous and uptight at being with a dying man." But after his death, "something strange happened as I began to do the research. I began to fall in love with him. It was almost like from the grave he was charming me."
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Re: Mrs. Kay Griggs on How the Government Works

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Walter Liberace
by K.J. Evans
Las Vegas Review-Journal
February 7, 1999 - 12:32 am
Updated September 12, 1999 - 1:00 am




As he strolled down Fremont Street, the cherub-faced young man with the dark, wavy hair offered passersby a broad grin, his hand and a handbill that introduced him.

“Have You Heard Liberace?” it asked. If they hadn’t, Walter Liberace would first correct their pronunciation of his name, “It’s Liber-AH-chee,” then ask them to come to his show at the Hotel Last Frontier.

It was November 1944, and the young pianist was making his Las Vegas debut. The city would become the entertainer’s home — one of many around the country — but more important, it would become the place he would develop his spectacular stage persona. Liberace would pack Las Vegas showrooms for the rest of his life, and after his death, his collection of antiques, custom cars and elaborate costumes would fill a museum that is in itself one of the city’s more popular tourist attractions. The museum is the financial wellspring that funds scholarships for aspiring musicians and artists.

Asked in a 1985 interview how he wished to be remembered, Liberace replied: “I’d like to think that the most enduring quality about me will be the music, because everything I’m doing … is to promote the music of future talent.

“My foundation is based on promoting new talent, and I feel that my longevity will survive through other people in this business because I’m going to provide a lasting support and a foundation for artists.”

It was, after all, a scholarship that provided musical training for the boy who would become “Mr. Showmanship.”

Wladziu Valentino Liberace was born in 1919.

His father, an Italian immigrant who played French horn in orchestras providing background music for silent movies, required his children to learn music. Walter was capable of picking out tunes at age 4.

But he had difficulty speaking and had speech therapy, concentrating on giving his speech a smoother flow, eliminating the effect of listening to one parent who spoke with an Italian accent and another with a Polish accent. The result was a slow, deliberate style of speech.

The year 1929 marked the onset of the Great Depression and talking pictures. Mom worked in a cookie factory, brother George drove a a grocery truck and gave piano lessons, sister Angelina worked as a secretary and nurse’s aide. And Walter, still a pre-teen, played the piano for dance classes and washed dishes.

“Except for music, there wasn’t much beauty in my childhood,” he later recalled. “We lived in one of those featureless bungalows in a featureless neighborhood. I hated shabbiness. I’d walk 27 blocks and pay 15 cents to sit in a new, clean movie house when I could have walked five blocks and paid 5 cents to sit in an old, dirty one.”

He excelled academically at West Milwaukee High School, and was active in extracurricular activities, excluding sports. (He couldn’t stand to get dirty.) One of the school’s traditions was “Character Day.” Every student was supposed to dress up as a famous character from history, and Walter nearly always won. He appeared one year as Emperor Haille Selassie of Ethiopia, another as Yankee Doodle Dandy. One year, he came in full drag as Greta Garbo.

His big break came in 1939 with an audition for Dr. Frederick Stock of the Chicago Symphony. His audition was flawless, and he was invited to play at the Pabst Theatre in Milwaukee. In the meantime, he found a spot with the Jay Mills Orchestra, a popular dance group. When the band went on a radio show, and Walter was introduced, the manager of the Chicago Symphony heard it, and complained to Stock.

“I don’t care if he played on a street corner with the Salvation Army Band,” said the maestro. “He will play with us.”

The symphony asked only one thing of Liberace; that he change his name until after the concert. That was why, for the next six months, Walter Liberace performed as “Walter Buster Keys.”

Sometime in 1942, perhaps emulating his idol, the great Polish pianist Paderewski, Walter Liberace dropped his first name altogether. His friends would thereafter simply call him “Lee.”

Liberace was moved by the film “A Song to Remember,” about the life of Polish composer Frederic Chopin. He was especially impressed by the elegant candelabrum atop the piano whenever Chopin played. He decided to borrow the image.

In 1944, while performing at the Mount Royal Hotel in Montreal, Liberace received a phone call from Maxine Lewis, entertainment director at the Hotel Last Frontier. She asked him if he would be interested in playing Las Vegas. He would. She asked how much he was currently making.

“Seven hundred and fifty a week,” he lied. His salary was $350, but Lewis agreed to $750 per week.

Liberace sized up his first-night audience, and decided to delete several of the classical pieces, concentrating on boogie-woogie and popular tunes. The audience went wild, and Maxine Lewis called him to her office, where she tore up the $750-per-week contract and gave him a new one for $1,500. Later, he would sign a 10-year contract with the hotel at an even higher salary.

In later years, Liberace never failed to recall for interviewers one rehearsal in particular. One afternoon he arrived for a rehearsal and found no one in the room to assist him except a tall, thin disheveled man standing next to a lighting board. Liberace walked up to him and began instructing him in what lights he wanted for which numbers. As he was delivering the spiel, Maxine Lewis walked up to the man, who nodded to her. Then she turned to Liberace: “I didn’t realize you knew Howard Hughes.”

His next encounter with a Las Vegas legend would be less embarrassing and a bit scarier.

In 1947, Liberace made a return engagement at the Last Frontier and, as usual, the audience loved him. After the show, he milled in the casino with the crowd, chatting and signing autographs. As Liberace biographer Bob Thomas tells the story, Liberace felt a hand grip his arm, and a gruff voice say, “Hey kid, I want to talk to you.” Liberace protested and moved away. The man followed. Liberace asked a security guard, “Who is that creep over there, the one who looks like a gangster?”

“He is a gangster,” said the guard, “That’s Bugsy Siegel.”

Terrified that he had offended a known killer, Liberace went to prepare for his second show. After, he received word that Siegel wanted to see him in the lobby. The Bug wasn’t angry, just trying to steal the Last Frontier’s headliner for his new Flamingo Hotel. He offered to double Liberace’s $2,000 per week salary.

“A classy act like you should be playing the Flamingo, not this cheesy dump,” said Siegel, who then left Liberace to fret over whether to accept the offer and insult his current benefactor, or refuse and risk a very abrupt end to his career. The problem solved itself a few months later when Siegel was shot dead in his girlfriend’s Beverly Hills, Calif., home.

George Liberace had become his brother’s road manager when he was discharged from the Navy, and Liberace also had hired a press agent, Sam Honigsberg. Together, their efforts saw Liberace’s name recognition rise dramatically. In 1948, he headlined at some of the most prestigious hotels in some of the largest cities in the nation — plus Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Orchestra leader and violin virtuoso George Liberace, brother of the flamboyant entertainer-pianist Lee Liberace, died Sunday at his home of leukemia at the age of 71.

George Liberace, who also was a business partner with his famed brother, was manager of the Liberace Museum in Las Vegas and administrator of the non-profit Las Vegas-based Liberace Foundation for Performing and Creative Arts.

A native of Menascha, Wis., Liberace studied violin at an early age. He played with the orchestras of Anson Weeks, Orin Tucker and Eddie Stone before enlisting in the U.S. Navy during World War II and conducting a 30-piece military band entertaining allied troops in the South Pacific.

Liberace also was conductor of several Las Vegas resort hotel bands, including those at the Riviera Hotel and the Sans Souci Hotel, and he conducted for his brother's musical variety show on television.

He retired from music in the late 1970s and moved to Las Vegas from Sacramento, Calif., to devote his time to the Liberace Foundation and Museum.

A funeral Mass will be conducted Wednesday at St. Anne's Catholic Church in Las Vegas with burial at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles. He is survived by his widow, Dora; brother Lee; and sister Angie Farrel.

-- Liberace's brother dies, by UPI

Liberace’s public persona, that of an effeminate mama’s boy, often brought caustic comments. At a concert in San Francisco, Liberace responded to his detractors with characteristic wit, “I don’t mind the bad reviews, but George cries all the way to the bank.”

The question of Liberace’s sexual orientation can still start an argument. But it is fairly certain that he was, indeed, gay.

“In fact,” wrote Thomas, “Liberace was confused about his sexual identity.” He explains that his first sexual encounter, with a female blues singer who practically raped him in a car, had “obliterated any boyish notions he had about romance.”

Aside from the occasional one-night stand, he seems not to have had a regular gay partner, at least in his early days. Publicly, he steadfastly maintained that he was just waiting for the right woman to come along, and even had some high-profile courtships to quell the rumors.

His most devoted fans, middle-age and elderly females, were, in his mind, the group most likely to desert him if he stepped out of the closet.

In the fall of 1956, Liberace toured Great Britain. Adoring crowds of women swarmed him at every stop, and groups of male homophobes screamed things such as “Queer go home” and “Send the fairy back to the States.”

A scribe for the tabloid Daily Mirror, William Connor, writing under the name “Cassandra,” wrote perhaps one of the nastiest reviews ever suffered by Liberace, called him “the biggest sentimental vomit of all time,” and went on to describe him as “this deadly, winking, sniggering, snuggling, chromium-plated, scent impregnated, luminous, quivering, giggling, fruit-flavored, mincing, ice-covered heap of mother love.”

It was that crack about “fruit-flavored” that prompted Liberace to sue the paper for libel, and caused him to bluster, “If … my appearances didn’t depend on my hands, I would knock Cassandra’s teeth down his throat. And I ain’t kidding.”

The British High Court ruled in Liberace’s favor, and a jury later awarded him $22,400 in damages.

But by the late 1950s, Liberace was letting his guard down more, inviting young men to his homes in Malibu, Palm Springs and Las Vegas. While few of his business associates ever recalled seeing him in the company of a male paramour, one person knew all too well of Lee’s secret dalliances; his brother, George. One day, he confronted his younger brother.

“Goddammit Lee,” he said, “how can you keep saying in public and in courtrooms that you’re not a homosexual and then hang out in the Springs with a bunch of faggots? You’re gonna get nailed someday.”

Furious, Liberace fired him, then rehired him under pressure from their mother, who boycotted Lee’s concerts until they reconciled. However, according to Thomas, it would be many years before they were friends again.

In the early 1980s Liberace hired an 18-year-old named Scott Thorsen as his private, live-in chauffeur, bodyguard and secretary. In 1982, Liberace had Thorsen bodily ejected from his house, ostensibly because of his drug use, and because he had made a death threat against the entertainer.

Thorsen filed suit for palimony, asking for $380 million, and claiming that part of his initial agreement with Liberace had been that sex would be part of his job description. Thorsen asserted that since he had been Liberace’s de-facto spouse, he was entitled to half of his assets. After some lurid testimony, a few spicy tabloid articles and some unnerving interviews by the media, a California judge ruled in Liberace’s favor, dismissing the palimony claims as being void because they were essentially a contract to perform an illegal act — prostitution.

Later, he would find a more suitable companion in 19-year-old Cary James, who was content to remain quiet.

Liberace was perhaps the most ardent collector of art, antiques and curios since William Randolph Hearst. Everywhere he went, he sought out antique stores, junk shops and garage sales. He bought rare pianos, one owned by Chopin, another by George Gershwin. Soon, like Hearst, he had filled warehouses to the ceiling with the objects he called his “Happy Happys.”

However, unlike Hearst, he wanted to display his goodies — all of them. So he bought houses, and incorporated his collections into their startlingly elaborate interior schemes. As his fortune grew, so did the number of customized houses he owned. He explained that while his profession required him to travel, he preferred to own homes in the cities where he worked most. In his life, he owned homes in Sherman Oaks, Hollywood Hills, Palm Springs, Malibu, Los Angeles, Lake Tahoe, Lake Arrowhead, New York and several in Las Vegas. When he was forced to stay in a hotel room, he often re-decorated it.

Always a fop, Liberace had, in his early years, appeared clad in the concert pianist’s uniform — black tux and tails. When he appeared at the Hollywood Bowl in the early 1950s, he had been concerned about being visible against the black-suited orchestra and had gone onstage in a white tux. At the conclusion of the show, someone asked him what he would wear at his next appearance, in Las Vegas. Standing next to him was a woman in a gold lamÈ dress.

“I’ll be wearing a gold lamÈ dinner jacket,” he answered offhandedly. He did. For Liberace, the fact that the audience responded to gay apparel was all he needed to know. Next came the diamond shirt studs, the multicolored tuxes, the capes and furs and boas and rhinestones and sequins, the dashes backstage with the parting quip, “Pardon me while I slip into something more spectacular.”

“I hate to admit it, but I just keep piling things on and on,” he later said of his act. Las Vegas, he found, was the perfect venue for his increasingly elaborate productions.

“These extravaganzas are a form of vaudeville, really, and I love doing them. There are only a few places left, like Nevada, where you have places that can handle them. In the other places, I have to simplify things a bit, like cut out some of the cars, or the dancing water, you know.”

He also noted that he had some competition in the garish costume sweepstakes. Elvis Presley, who had bombed in Las Vegas during his first appearance in 1956, was appearing regularly at the Las Vegas Hilton, and had abandoned his modest slacks and sport coat for garish costumes festooned with, of all things, rhinestones and sequins.

Liberace opened at the Las Vegas Hilton in 1972, lured by a salary of $300,000 per week. No other Las Vegas headliner made more. Las Vegas became his legal residence, and he played here about 16 weeks a year, four in Reno and Lake Tahoe. He decided to find a suitable Nevada home. He purchased an unremarkable tract home, then the adjacent house, and linked them together into one mansion. He then set about giving them the Liberace touch. A reproduction of Michelangelo’s painting of the roof of the Sistine Chapel loomed over his bed, an indoor lagoon had a miniature version of the “dancing waters” show and everywhere were marble, mirrors and gold.

He also decided that his collection of “Happy Happys,” which had grown to include several rare autos, works of art and a desk once used by Czar Nicholas II, constituted the raw material for a museum.

He found a moderately-priced shopping center on East Tropicana Avenue in Las Vegas and opened his museum personally on Easter Sunday in 1979.

The museum is a significant Las Vegas tourist attraction, drawing well over 100,000 visitors a year.

In August of 1986, Liberace returned to Caesars Palace for a two-week engagement. It was his final Las Vegas show. His friends, staff and the Caesars stagehands noticed that the normally ebullient and gregarious Liberace was quiet and spent most of his offstage time in his dressing room.

His obviously deteriorating health prompted many inquiries from the media. Liberace laughed them off, explaining that he had gone on a “watermelon diet” that had made him ill. But he was recovering nicely, he added.

He remained secluded in his Palm Springs home until he died Feb. 4, 1987, at age 67. The rumors that he was dying of AIDS began even before his passing, but were all dismissed by his staff and family. His Las Vegas physician, Dr. Elias Ghanem, would not comment.

His Palm Springs physician, Dr. Ronald Daniels, filed a death certificate stating that Liberace had died of heart failure, brought on by a brain inflammation.

However, before the pianist could be put to rest, his body was seized by Riverside County Coroner Raymond Carrillo and autopsied. Carrillo announced that Liberace had indeed been carrying the HIV virus.

Liberace was buried in a 6-foot tall tomb at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills. The tomb stands between a pair of flowering pear trees trimmed to resemble candelabra.

He was eulogized in Time magazine as “a synonym for glorious excess,” and the writer went on to say, “Liberace was a visual, rather than an acoustic phenomenon. He charted a path followed by the unlikeliest of proteges, from Elvis Presley to Elton John and Boy George: the sex idol as peacock androgyne.”

Liberace was nothing if not an astute businessman, and he knew this of himself.

“I have more or less made Liberace a person other than myself,” he explained. “I’ve created a product for the public that the public has continued to buy and to remain interested in. I treat it as a commodity or product. Like General Motors creates a car.”
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Re: Mrs. Kay Griggs on How the Government Works

Postby admin » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:54 am

Al-Anon Family Groups Welcome Gays and Lesbians: Al-Anon Is For All Families and Friends of Alcoholics
Al-Anon Family Group
Strength and hope for friends and families of problem drinkers




“When I attended my first Al-Anon meeting, I was afraid for two reasons. The first was what everyone else experiences-that my family would never again be normal, and that my last resort, Al‑Anon, would not be able to help. But my second reason was that I was gay, coming into a room of straight people who might judge me for being who I am, and they might reject my plea for assistance. Both fears were unfounded.”

Unique Lives, Common Experiences

Al-Anon Family Groups is for anyone whose life has been affected by someone else’s drinking. It is a fellowship of families and friends of alcoholics who come together to share their experience, strength, and hope to recover from the effects of alcoholism.

One of the things we find by sharing in meetings is that while each of us is different, we also have a lot in common. It is, in fact, in the sharing of our diversity and unique experience that we break down our walls of isolation, grow in understanding, realize we are not alone, and learn we deserve full, happy, and productive lives.

“When I first came to Al‑Anon, I thought if the members knew I was a lesbian, they would reject me, and I needed their help. I would use ‘he’ or ‘they’ to refer to my partner and then cry because I couldn’t be honest. One night after a meeting when three of us were talking, I was asked a question I couldn’t answer truthfully without giving myself away. Shaking and scared, I took a chance and said my relationship was with a woman. I was a lesbian. What I got back was acceptance and support. One of these women became my Sponsor and both are part of my support system.”

What we find in Al-Anon is acceptance, love, and a place to heal. We find loving voices and caring people who guide us gently along the path to recovery. Regardless of our individual personalities, backgrounds or opinions, we are welcomed.

“I kept coming back for several reasons. The group asked me to come back. I can’t ever remember feeling that kind of warmth and acceptance before. Although I was afraid they wouldn’t relate to me, I knew I related to them. While our external situations and circumstances were often different, our feelings were the same. Also, at that point I was desperate and totally void of hope. The mere fact that these people were dealing gracefully with their situations let me know it was possible.”

How Al-Anon Works

In sharing our experience, strength, and hope, we cannot help revealing some details and particulars of our lives. It is important that we feel free to do so, for only in an environment in which we can shed our fears are we able to grow. Regardless of our sexual orientation, there are certain matters that are better shared one-on-one with a trusted friend. By keeping our meetings focused on our Al-Anon recovery, we are able to put our problems into perspective and, by listening to the sharing of others, we learn how to make our own lives more manageable.

“After a few meetings, the idea slowly formed that maybe my being a gay man wasn’t really the problem after all, that maybe the problem was alcoholism. I kept coming back and slowly, one day at a time, the unconditional love of the Al-Anon fellowship enfolded me. I was accepted exactly as I was, perhaps for the first time in my life. The members continued to share their experience, strength, and hope with me and to look beyond my being gay (where my focus kept returning) to my being affected by the family disease of alcoholism. Gradually I began to heal: the group members accepted me and that gave me permission to accept myself; they said they loved me and that gave me permission to love myself.”

“I’m not in Al-Anon to talk about my sexuality as such. I’m there because somebody else’s alcoholism has affected my life. Being gay is a part of me, so it’s inevitably going to be a part of my story.”

Each Al-Anon meeting is slightly different and, since we are all individuals, we may well visit several meetings before we find at least one at which we feel at home. Some Al-Anon meetings may be designated as “gay and lesbian,” where newcomers may feel more comfortable sharing with other gay and lesbian members. However, every Al-Anon group welcomes all families and friends of alcoholics. Alcoholism is our common bond, and we come together with willingness to listen and learn and to share the message of hope with others in the fellowship.

“What I love about Al-Anon meetings is that I am getting close to people who normally I would not be able to know so well, for most of my friends are gay or lesbian. And I hear from my Al‑Anon brothers and sisters in meetings that they enjoy getting to know us, as they might not otherwise be able to. Walls are disappearing, and love and community are growing and expanding.”

An Open Door

Al-Anon has continually offered an open door to all of us who have suffered from loving someone—partner, relative, or friend—who is an alcoholic. Diverse as we are, it is inevitable that we will sometimes disagree, but we recognize that in order to recover from the effects of this powerful disease, we need to look beyond our own narrow individual limits for help, understanding, and support. We strive always to place principles above personalities.

“I focused less and less on being gay as I grew in my understanding of the family disease of alcoholism and truly saw how it had devastated my entire life.”

No matter what our life experience may be, we are united in our gratitude for the countless open doors that welcome us to the rooms of Al-Anon, where we find peace, understanding, contentment, and even happiness, whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not.

“I am continually awed by the humbling equality of the recovery we are all seeking under the one big roof of worldwide Al‑Anon.”

The Al-Anon Family Groups are a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength, and hope in order to solve their common problems. We believe alcoholism is a family illness and that changed attitudes can aid recovery.

Al-Anon is not allied with any sect, denomination, political entity, organization, or institution; does not engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any cause. There are no dues for membership. Al-Anon is self-supporting through its own voluntary contributions.

Al-Anon has but one purpose: to help families of alcoholics. We do this by practicing the Twelve Steps, by welcoming and giving comfort to families of alcoholics, and by giving understanding and encouragement to the alcoholic.

Suggested Al-Anon Preamble to the Twelve Steps

For meeting information call:

1-888-425-2666 (1-888-4AL-ANON)

Al-Anon/Alateen is supported by members’ voluntary contributions and from the sale of our Conference Approved Literature.

Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.
1600 Corporate Landing Parkway
Virginia Beach, VA 23454-5617
Phone: (757) 563-1600
Fax: (757) 563-1655

Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters (Canada) Inc.
275 Slater Street, Suite 900
Ottawa, ON K1P 5H9
Phone: (613) 723-8484

Al-Anon may be listed in your telephone directory
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