William Joseph was born in Buffalo, New York back in 1883 Timothy and Anna who were Irish immigrants. Attending school at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute moving on to Niagara University he considered entering the priesthood.
Thankfully for us and our Nation he chose another path. He transferred to Columbia University studying law graduating in 1905. Moving on in 1912 he became leader of a cavalry troop mobilized in 1916 serving along the U.S.-Mexico border against Pancho Villa. Later that same year he was promoted to major taking charge of the troop fighting alongside General John J. Pershing’s army.
He served during WWI serving in France he was wounded in the line of duty. After recovering from his wounds, he served as chief of staff of the 165th Regiment. After the war, he returned to his private law practice. He was appointed US Attorney for the Western District of New York.
Moving forward to WWII he opposed President Roosevelt however, recognizing William’s experience he employed him in the service to the war effort. In July 1941 Roosevelt named William Coordinator of Information resulting in William laying the groundwork for a centralized intelligence program. I could go on but my word constraint is approaching so I’ll end this with some facts.
William Joseph (Wild Bill) Donovan is known as the “Father of American Intelligence”, a statue of Donovan is in the lobby of the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. On a side note he is the only person to receive all four of the United States’ highest awards: The Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal and the National Security Medal. A recipient of the Silver Star and Purple Heart with clusters as well as decorations from several other nations.