Donovan Award

OSS Journal

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OSS Journal

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William J. Donovan Award®

2012 William J. Donovan Award® Photographs
"The Secrets of The OSS Society Dinner" from The Washington Post
"Strategic Event" from The Washington Times
"In Washington: A Pride of Former Spooks" from Time Magazine

Admiral Louis Mountbatten, upon receiving the William J. Donovan Award ® in 1966, said: “William Donovan wasn’t just a great American. He was a great international citizen, a man of enormous courage, leadership, and vision. I doubt whether any one person contributed more to the ultimate victory of the Allies than Bill Donovan.”

Ambassador David K.E. Bruce said that “judged by any standard, Donovan was a remarkable personality. If I could sum up my impression of him, I would say that he was a universal man in the sense that nothing human was alien to him.”

The OSS Society presents the William J. Donovan Award® to an individual who has rendered distinguished service to the United States of America. The purpose of the award is to recognize someone who has exemplified the distinguishing features that characterized General Donovan’s lifetime of public service to the United of States of America as a citizen and a soldier. General Donovan is the only person to receive our nation’s four highest decorations: the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, and the National Security Medal.

He served as an Assistant United States Attorney General, as the United States Attorney for the Western District of New York, as a candidate for governor of New York, as a personal advisor to President Roosevelt before and during World War II, as an assistant to the chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, as ambassador to Thailand, and as the founder and director of the Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor to the Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. Special Operations Forces.

General Donovan’s statue stands today at the entrance to the Central Intelligence Agency alongside a book containing the names of OSS personnel killed during World War II. The U.S Special Operations Command wears the OSS spearhead as its insignia. General Donovan’s “glorious amateurs” – the term he used to describe OSS personnel – have become today’s quiet professionals.

Upon learning of General Donovan’s death in 1959, President Eisenhower said: “What a man! We have lost the last hero.”

William J. Donovan Award® Recipients
1961 The Honorable Allen W. Dulles
1963 The Honorable John J. McCloy
1964 Lt. General William W. Quinn
1965 President Dwight D. Eisenhower
1966 The Earl Mountbatten of Burma
1967 The Honorable Everett McKinley Dirksen
1969 J. Russell Forgan
1970 The Astronauts of Apollo 11
1971 The Honorable David K.E. Bruce
1974 The Honorable William J. Casey
1977 The Honorable Robert D. Murphy
1979 His Excellency Jacques Chaban-Delmas
1981 The Right Honorourable Margaret Thatcher
1982 The Honorable John A. McCone
1983 The Honorable Richard Helms
1983 Sir William Stephenson
1986 President Ronald W. Reagan
1991 President George H.W. Bush
1993 Dr. Carl F. Eifler
1995 The Honorable William E. Colby
2004 The Honorable Ralph J. Bunche
2005 The Honorable William H. Webster
2007 Major General John K. Singlaub, USA (Ret.)
2009 General David H. Petraeus, USA
2010 Ross Perot
2011 Adm. Eric T. Olson, USN (Ret.)
2012 Hon. Robert M. Gates
2013 Adm. William H. McRaven, USN
2014 Hon. Leon E. Panetta