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J. William Middendorf
John William Middendorf (1969).jpg
United States Ambassador to the European Union
In office
July 12, 1985 – February 1, 1987
President Ronald Reagan
Preceded by George S. Vest
Succeeded by Alfred H. Kingon
United States Ambassador to the Organization of American States
In office
July 1, 1981 – June 20, 1985
President Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Gale W. McGee
Succeeded by Richard T. McCormack
62nd United States Secretary of the Navy
In office
April 8, 1974 – January 20, 1977
President Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Preceded by John Warner
Succeeded by W. Graham Claytor Jr.
United States Ambassador to the Netherlands
In office
July 9, 1969 – June 10, 1973
President Richard Nixon
Preceded by William R. Tyler
Succeeded by Kingdon Gould Jr.
Personal details
John William Middendorf II

(1924-09-22) September 22, 1924 (age 99)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Political party Republican
Education College of the Holy Cross (BS)
Harvard University (BA)
New York University (MBA)
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Branch/service  United States Navy
Battles/wars World War II

John William Middendorf II (born September 22, 1924) is a former Republican United States diplomat and Secretary of the Navy.

Education and military service

John William Middendorf II received a Bachelor of Naval Science (BNS) degree from College of the Holy Cross in 1945.

In World War II, he served in the United States Navy from 1944 to 1946 as engineer officer and navigator aboard USS LCS(L) 53. He was discharged from the Navy in 1946.

He earned a BA degree from Harvard College in 1947, where he was a member of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals and the Owl Club. He also graduated from New York University's Graduate School of Business Administration, receiving an MBA degree in 1954.

Early career

He became an investment banker and in 1963 in partnership with Austen Colgate formed his own company, Middendorf, Colgate and Company (with a seat on the New York Stock Exchange). An early member of Barry Goldwater's presidential campaign, he served as treasurer of that campaign, and continued to have the same duties with the Republican National Committee from 1965–1969.

Other pursuits and interests

In 2006, Middendorf published a book describing his work with the Goldwater campaign. Glorious Disaster: Barry Goldwater's Presidential Campaign and the Origins of the Conservative Movement details how Goldwater's campaign became the foundation of the modern Conservative movement.

In 2011, he published his autobiography, Potomac Fever.

He is a prolific composer of symphonies (including the Holland Symphony, presented to Queen Juliana of the Netherlands on the 25th anniversary of her ascension to the throne) and 100 marches for ships of the U.S. Navy.

Ambassador Middendorf is a member of the board of directors of the International Republican Institute. He is a member of the board of trustees for the Heritage Foundation, an influential Washington, D.C. based public policy research institute.

He is also a member of the Rhode Island Society of the Sons of the Revolution and the Naval Order of the United States.

Middendorf studied stained glass production with Dutch-born expert Joep Nicolas. He is on the board of the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture.

Honors and awards

Foreign orders, decorations and medals

  • Grand Officer of Order of Orange-Nassau, The Netherlands, 1985
  • Order of the Arab Republic of Egypt – Rank A (highest foreign decoration) by President Sadat
  • Grand Officer of the Order of Naval Merit – Republic of Brazil, 1974
  • Naval Distinguished Service Medal, Brazil, 1976

Other awards

Middendorf has received the "Edwin Franko Goldman Award" from the American Bandmasters Association and is a member of the American Society of Composers and Performers (ASCAP). Other honors include:

  • Hudson River Museum Honoree, Hudson River Museum, 2009
  • Maritime Security Lifetime Excellence Award, 2002
  • Arleigh Burke Award – Navy League of the United States, 1998
  • Ludwig von Mises Free Market Award – 1985
  • Distinguished Service Award, Purdue University Band
  • Gold Medal, The Netherlands Society of the Sons of American Revolution
  • Medal of Honor, Midwest National Band and Orchestra Association
  • Alumnus of the Year, New York University Graduate School of Business
  • Association of Harvard Clubs of American Award (Music) (Keogh Award)
  • NYU Eugene Keogh Award for Distinguished Public Service (1989)
  • American Friends of Turkey Leadership Award, 1989
  • Presidential Physical Fitness Award, 1990
  • Distinguished Patriot Award, SAR of State of New York, 1975
  • Award of Merit, Art League of Virginia (Portrait of Del), 1996
  • U.S. Olympic Committee Gold Shield Award
  • Gold Medal, Holland Society of New York, 1996
  • American Bandmasters Association Edwin Franko Goldman Award
  • American Music Award, Harvard Clubs

Honorary degrees

  • Troy State University – Doctor of Law
  • School of the Ozarks – Doctor of Letters
  • American Christian College – Doctor of Letters
  • Francisco Marroquin University – Doctor of Social Sciences
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