Elmo R. Zumwalt
Chief of Naval OperationsClass of 1943
- Chief of Naval Operations, 1970-1974
Elmo Russell Zumwalt, Jr., was born in San Francisco, California, on 29 November 1920. Graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1942, with the accelerated Class of '43, he served mainly in destroyers during World War II and continued in surface ship assignments after the war. In 1950, Lieutenant Commander Zumwalt received his first command, USS Tills (DE-748). Subsequent commands included USS Arnold J. Isbell (DD-869), in 1955-57, and USS Dewey (DLG-14), in 1959-61.
Promoted to the rank of Captain in July 1961, Zumwalt attended the National War College and held responsible headquarters positions in Washington, D.C., until receiving a further promotion in July 1965. Rear Admiral Zumwalt then commanded Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla Seven and served in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. He became Commander Naval Forces, Vietnam in September 1968 and was promoted to the rank of Vice Admiral shortly thereafter.
On 1 July 1970, Admiral Zumwalt received his fourth star and assumed the post of Chief of Naval Operations, the youngest officer to hold that position. During the next four years, he guided the Navy through a period of difficult personnel, fiscal, technological and operational challenges. Admiral Zumwalt retired from active duty in July 1974. He was thereafter active in political, policy and business pursuits until his death on 2 January 2000.