John Davis Lodge – Captain, United States Navy Member of Congress – American Diplomat

Born 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.

JOHN DAVIS LODGE, grandson of Henry Cabot Lodge, was born in Washington, D.C., on October 20, 1903. He had a worldly education, attending school at the Evans School in Mesa, Arizona, the Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts, and the Ecole de Droit in Paris, France. He graduated from Harvard University in 1925, and Harvard Law School in 1929.

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.

From a contemporary news report:

Political Wife

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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