Spymaster "Wild Bill" Donovan

By | August 14, 2019

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OSS Operatives in training during World War II. Source: (wikimedia.org)

On New Year’s Day, 1883, William Joseph Donovan was born in Buffalo, New York. He was to become an American hero, earning the Medal of Honor during World War I as well as becoming the country’s spymaster during World War II.

His life was like a Hollywood movie, except better since it was real.

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William J. Donovan. Source: (wikimedia.org)

Donovan was the son of Irish parents, his father was a railroad superintendent. He studied law at Columbia University where he was a classmate of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Despite a modest upbringing, he married Ruth Rumsey, the daughter of the richest man in Buffalo. Hobnobbing in upper circles he and some society men joined the New York Guard forming a cavalry unit known as the Silk Stocking Boys. It was during this time that he took part in General John Pershing’s famous hunt for the Mexican bandit, Pancho Villa in 1916.