John Davis Lodge
Captain, United States Navy
Member of Congress - American Diplomat
in Washington, D.C. October 20, 1903, he served with the United States
Navy as a Lieutenant and Lieutenant Commander, August 1942-January 1946.
He was a liaison between the French and U.S. Fleets during World War II. He was decorated with the rank of Chevalier in the French Legion of Honor and with the Croix de Guerre with Palm by General de Gaulle.
He later served as U.S. Ambassador to Spain, 1955-January 1961. He was National President, Junior Achievement, Inc., 1963-64; Chairman, Committee on Foreign Policy Research Institute, University of Pennsylvania, 1964-69; Delegate and Floor Leader for Connecticut, Constitutional Convention, 1965; U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland, 1983. He was a resident of Westport, Connecticut, until his death in New York City on October 29, 1985. His private memorial in Section 30 of Arlington National Cemetery reads:
"To be useful to our fellow man is a noble aspiration. A life of service is still a life well spent. Lawyer, 1929-32; Actor, 1932-42; Naval Officer, 1942-46; U.S. Congressman, 1947-51; Governor of Connecticut, 1951-55; U.S. Ambassador to Spain, 1955-61, to Switzerland, 1983-85; U.S. Delegate, 1984-85."
Courtesy of the U.S. House of Representatives:
LODGE, John Davis, (grandson of Henry Cabot
Lodge, brother of Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., and nephew of Augustus P. Gardner),
a Representative from Connecticut; born in Washington, D.C., October 20,
1903; attended the Evans School, Mesa, Ariz., the Middlesex School, Concord,
Mass., and Ecole de Droit, Paris, France; was graduated from Harvard University
in 1925 and from the Harvard Law School in 1929; was admitted to
the New York bar in 1932 and commenced practice in New York City; affiliated
with the motion-picture industry and the theater 1933-1942; served with
the United States Navy as a lieutenant and lieutenant commander August
1942 to January 1946 and was a liason officer between the French and American
fleets; was decorated with the rank of Chevalier in the French Legion of
Honor and with the Croix de Guerre with palm by General de Gaulle; engaged
in research work in economics; elected as a Republican to the Eightieth
and Eighty-first Congresses (January 3, 1947-January 3, 1951); was not
a candidate for renomination in 1950; Governor of Connecticut from January
1951 to January 1955; unsuccessful for reelection as Governor in 1954;
United States Ambassador to Spain from January 1955 until January 1961;
National president, Junior Achievement, Inc., 1963-1964; chairman, Committee
Foreign Policy Research Institute, University of Pennsylvania, 1964-1969;
delegate and assistant floor leader, Connecticut Constitutional Convention,
in 1965; United States Ambassador to Argentina, 1969 to 1974; Ambassador
to Switzerland, 1983; was a resident of Westport, Conn. until his death
in New York City, October 29, 1985; intermant in Arlington National Cemetery.
Lodge also was a professional actor from 1933 to 1940, and appeared in several movies, including Little Women.
During World War II, he served as lieutenant and lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy, and was a liaison between the French and the U.S. Fleets. Lodge was decorated for his service with the rank of Chevalier in the French Legion of Honor and with the Croix de Guerre with Palm.
He entered politics as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, an office he held from 1947 to 1950. Lodge won the 1950 Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected Connecticut's 62nd governor. During his tenure, he endorsed legislation that improved unemployment and workmen's compensation benefits. Laws passed that increased funding for educational issues, and authorization was granted for the construction of public buildings.
Lodge ran unsuccessfully for reelection in
1954. He served as U.S. Ambassador to Spain from 1955 to 1961, was the
national president of the Junior Achievement, Inc. from 1963 to 1964, and
chaired the University of Pennsylvania's Foreign Policy Research Institute,
serving from 1964 to 1969. He served as a delegate to the 1965 Connecticut
Constitutional Convention. Lodge was ambassador to Argentina from 1969
to 1974 and ambassador to Switzerland in 1983. Governor John D. Lodge died
on October 29, 1985, and is buried at the Arlington National Cemetery.
Francesca Lodge, 95, widow of former Connecticut governor and ambassador to Spain John Davis Lodge, died February 25, 1998 at her home in Marbella, Spain. The cause of death was not reported.
A patron of the arts, who was a former actress and ballerina herself, Mrs. Lodge was one of the most active first ladies in Connecticut during her husband's tenure from 1951 to 1955. She opened the governor's mansion for public tours, promoted theater and concerts throughout the state and was a founding member of the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Connecticut.
Her career continued on the New York stage and then extended to Hollywood, where she dubbed over the voice of Greta Garbo in films sent to Italy. She moved to Spain with her husband after President Eisenhower appointed the Republican former governor ambassador to that country.
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Updated: 14 June 2003 Updated: 27 August 2004