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Donovan Clan Mini-Book Excerpt
In the dark and sinister world of warfare and spies, Major General William Donovan was the American lawyer, soldier and intelligence officer better known as Wild Bill Donovan, born in 1883 in Buffalo, New York, and who died in 1956.
He was responsible during the First World War for organising and leading the 69th New York Volunteers, more famously known as The Fighting 69th.
Promoted to Colonel, he received the Distinguished Service Cross and three Purple Hearts. Before America’s entry into the Second World War he worked as a Wall Street lawyer, but in 1941 he was given responsibility for the creation of America’s Office of Strategic Services (OSS), whose later remit was to carry out espionage and acts of sabotage in occupied Europe and parts of Japanese occupied Asia.
The OSS was the forerunner of today’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and that is why Donovan, who was promoted to Major General at the end of the war, is known as the ‘father’ of the CIA.
Buried in Washington’s Arlington National Cemetery, he was the recipient of a host of honours that included an honorary British knighthood, America’s Distinguished Service Medal and membership of the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame.