William Clarence Braisted – Rear Admiral, United States Navy

I am related to the two men mentioned above and will explain how they are related to each other.

First Lieutenant Frank Braisted (1828-1891) and his wife Helen Fisk Braisted (1831-1917) had a son: William Clarence Braisted (1864-1941) who became a medical doctor and served in the Surgeon General's office. He was a physician attached to the White House during the terms of William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.

Rear Admiral William Clarence Braisted, MD (1864-1941) had a son: Frank Alfred Braisted (1889-1981) who became

Rear Admiral Frank Alfred Braisted (1889-1981). Rear Admiral Frank A. Braisted and his wife Margaret (1893-1985) had two sons, William Braisted and Frank Alfred Braisted Jr., both of whom are still living.

Frank Alfred Braisted Jr. has a son, John Christian Braisted and a daughter Nancy. Frank Jr. has worked for the Smithsonian for over 42 years.

William Braisted is not married and has no children. He is a retired university professor, and has written several books on naval history.

Rear Admiral Frank Alfred Braisted (1889-1981) and I meet in the summer of 1976 while I was visiting Washington DC. We traced the family tree and did figure out how my branch of the family is related to the Admiral's family.

When visiting Arlington in 1989, I found it is possible to see all three of the Braisted graves when standing next to any one of the three headstones.

At least one other family relative is buried at Arlington, my grandfather's cousin.
His name is Alva Jennings Brasted (note no “I”) and was Army Chief of Chaplains in the 1930's. Alva Jennings Brasted was born on July 4 1876 and died in about 1965. He married twice and both wives are buried with him.

I hope this will clear up the relationship issue for the two Frank Braisted's and fill in the missing generation. You have a great web site, keep up the good work.


John Chester Braisted

Submitted By John Braisted, October 2004

Rear Admiral William Clarence Braisted

Navy Surgeon General in War,
Ex-Head of American Medical Association, Stricken, 77
18 January 1941


Fellow of' the Royal College of Surgeons Won Distinguished Service Medal for Work

WEST CHESTER, PENNSYLVANIA, January 17, 1941 – Rear Admiral William Clarence Braisted, United States Navy, retired, died at his home here tonight after an illness of three weeks. His age was 77.

Admiral Braisted, who was born in Toledo, Ohio, was surgeon general of the Navy during the World War. He was a former president of the American Medical Association.

Won Honors at Columbia

Admiral Braisted was graduated from the University of Michigan in 1883. He received his medical degree with honors from Columbia University Medical School in 1886, and in after years received many honorary degrees, among them fellowship in the Royal College of Surgeons.

After two ands half years' serves at Bellevue Hospital here and two years of private practice in Detroit he Joined the Navy as an assistant surgeon in 1890. During his early career in the Navy he served on many ships, was instructor for a time at the Navel Medical School and fitted out and equipped the hospital ship Relief in 1904.

During the Russo-Japanese War, he represented the Medical Department of the Navy in Japan and was decorated by the Japanese Emperor. From 1906 to 1912 he served as assistant chief of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery of the Navy, and during this period helped in the reorganization of the bureau and the Naval Medical Service. He also was one of the physicians to the White House during the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt.

Surgeon General in 1914

His next tour of duty, lasting two years, was as fleet surgeon to the Atlantic Fleet. In 1914 he became surgeon general of the Navy and chief of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, serving until 1921. At the end of this duty he retired from the Navy after thirty years' service with the rank of Rear Admiral.

After his retirement, Admiral Braisted assumed the presidency of the College of Pharmacy and Science in Philadelphia. He was president of the American Medical Association in 1919 and 1920, president of the Association of Military Surgeons in the United States in 1912 and 1913, and a member of the board of governors of the American College of Surgeons.

He was a member of the governing boards of many hospitals, and during the World War served as a member of the executive committee of the central committee and war relief board of the American Red Cross. For his services during the war he received the Distinguished Service Medal.


  • United States Navy
  • DATE OF DEATH: 01/17/1941
  • DATE OF INTERMENT: 01/22/1941


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