Biography of Ambassador J. William Middendorf, II.

(1924-) ~

.
Former Secretary of the U.S. Navy and Ambassador to the Netherlands, J. William Middendorf, now 96 years old, has had a long career of public service. After growing up during the Great Depression, in 1943, while in college, he received a contract to report for spring training to pitch for the NY Giants, then managed by Mel Ott. But one week later he instead joined the U.S. Navy and served in the Pacific on a Landing Craft Support (LCS) as an Engineering and Navigation Officer, later taking command.
.
After WWII, he received degrees from Holy Cross and Harvard where he studied under both T.S. Elliot and Joseph Schumpeter. After two weeks at Harvard, Middendorf called his father and said, “Dad, there is a big communist movement at Harvard involving the John Reed Society. No more inequality, everything is going to be free, whether you work or not.” Middendorf will never forget his father’s response. “Son, you’re coming home tomorrow to get a job as a welder at Sparrow’s Point Shipyard in Baltimore, alongside your mother, who’s already a welder there – and no more Harvard.” Middendorf quickly responded, “Dad I got the message,” and he stayed at Harvard, as a non-communist. He also received a M.B.A from New York University where he was later recognized with The Keogh Graduate of The Year Award.
.
He moved to New York and briefly stayed at the home of former New York Governor William Kelly Simpson. During that time the former prime minister of Russia, Aleksandr Kerensky, was staying there as well. He was a leading figure of the Bolshevik revolution. Middendorf was impressed by the humility of this former communist, but he also sensed the despair of a person who had been misled by Lenin resulting in the destruction of his country.
.
“Kerensky told me that he had been influenced at the University of St. Petersburg by the populist movement to become a Socialist-Marxist revolutionary with all the popular slogans of income inequality and wealth redistribution. These slogans are still being used worldwide to promote what always turns out to be one-man rule under socialism/communism.”
.
Starting in 1912 with several tours of duty in the Duma and as Minister of War and the Navy, Kerensky became Prime Minister in October of 1917, aiming to implement a full socialist agenda. Almost immediately the violent Bolshevik Revolution occurred, Lenin took over and one-man rule ensued.
.
Stalin succeeded Lenin and eliminated 30 million “enemies of the people.” Many of the naïve socialists were among the first to be executed, and Kerensky went into hiding and escaped to Europe in 1918. He immigrated to New York in 1940. Years later, Middendorf became a trustee of the Hoover Institution of Palo Alto, California, where Kerensky was a visiting scholar writing his memoirs.
.
Middendorf also met Nicholas Debasisley who had drawn up the abdication papers for the Czar in 1917. He had escaped Russia in 1917 to avoid execution and later settled in Baltimore in the early 1930s with a small amount of money and a LaSalle car. With the advice of Middendorf’s father Henry and uncle, J. William Middendorf Jr., both prominent Baltimore investment bankers, Debasisley ended up with a multi-million dollar estate many years later. Through Middendorf’s encouragement, Debasisley left his estate to the Hoover Institution for the study of the Russian Revolution.
.
Middendorf became an investment banker in the 1950s as a partner of Wood, Struthers and Company. In 1961, he and Austen Colgate founded Middendorf Colgate and Company, which became a prominent Wall Street firm.
.
Middendorf served as treasurer of the Barry Goldwater Presidential Campaign and continued to have the same duties with the Republican National Committee from 1964-1969. In later years he came to the conclusion as he wrote in his memoirs, that making money was important, but making a difference was more meaningful.
.
In 1969 he left his investment firm and accepted the role of U.S. Ambassador to The Netherlands. In 1974, he became the Secretary of the U.S. Navy. Middendorf is a direct descendant of a founder of the U.S. Navy, Captain William Stone, who contributed two ships, the original Hornet and the Wasp to General Washington’s Army in 1775. As Secretary of the Navy, despite aggressive calls from Congress for a peace dividend following the Vietnam war, Middendorf was able to sponsor through congress four new major navy programs: the Trident Submarine Program designed to carry 80 percent of America’s nuclear warheads, the AEGIS Missile System with its 65 Arleigh Burke class AEGIS cruisers, the F18 Fighter Plane and the CH53E, Heavy-Lift Helicopter for the Marine Corp, perhaps a record number for a single tour. All these weapons systems along with other advance programs of the Army and Air Force helped win the First Cold War a decade later. Remarkably, 45 years later, these four weapons systems are still front and center in the United States’ defense arsenal today.
.
While serving in the U.S. Navy in World War II, Middendorf brought his ship into Guam and visited the long beach and terrifying cliffs where the U.S. Marines had recently defeated the Japanese. A marine named Lew Wilson led the charge up the cliff and personally took out three Japanese-machine gun nests, which had been firing down on our landing forces. Where do they get such men Middendorf thought, as he studied the site of the battle? Wilson received the Medal of Honor for his heroism. Years later, Secretary Middendorf had to make a decision concerning the next Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. Although there were several outstanding Marine candidates, Middendorf felt extremely honored to be able to appoint Lew Wilson, now a General, to the post as Commandant.
.
In 1977, Ambassador Middendorf became president of a large 13-bank, multi-state holding company based in Washington D.C. In four years, he was able to double the stock value of the bank. At 96, he now jokes that anyone entering one of his banks years ago with a mask would be arrested, whereas today, with the coronavirus, anyone entering without a mask may be detained.
.
At their home outside of Washington D.C, he and his late wife Isabelle, a registered nurse, took into their home 28 foster infants over a number of years, primarily working with the Barker Adoption Agency, which was established during WWII to support Navy Waves. In meeting briefs with Navy Admirals and Marine Generals, some as early as 6:30 a.m., the Secretary felt that he was not always as sharp as he should be, possibly putting a Nation in peril, having spent post-midnight hours burping precious babies and changing diapers.
.
Upon Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980, Ambassador Middendorf was asked to chair the Finance Committee for the Inauguration. He also wrote at the President’s request the inauguration march, “Thumbs Up America.” He also became chairman of Reagan’s C.I.A. Transition Committee, which reorganized the senior levels of the agency and brought in Bill Casey as the new director.
.
He was then asked to become Ambassador to the Organization of American States, where he joined with Constantine Mengis in presenting a Grenada Rescue Plan to the National Security Council. Russia, aided by Cuba, was building a 9000-foot runway for their cargo planes in Granada. After several emergency meetings of the National Security Council, President Reagan signed off on the Mengis Plan, and a carrier with marines quickly liberated the area and removed the Soviets and Cubans after a brief combat. Middendorf visited all 31 active OAS countries one or more times.
.
The Ambassador and his wife Isabelle donated a cheese factory to an impoverished village in the high Altiplano of Bolivia and funded a 75-mile road improvement, which connected the remote village to the nearest market. There were rumors no doubt apocryphal, that the women did most of the work in producing the cheese. The men’s important job was to drive the finished product to market where, after several nights, the local bars soaked up some of the profits.
.
Of the 32 countries of Latin America, Venezuela was the richest in South America, because of its huge oil production. Despite its prosperity, there was a group complaining about income inequality, some of whom were friends of Ambassador Middendorf. The Ambassador warned them not to support the alternative socialist-Marxist system they were proposing (income inequality, and wealth redistribution and the other usual slogans). The late Hugo Chavez was elected four times and destroyed the Venezuelan economy. As history enfolded, this system quickly resolved into a one-man regime, with no checks and balances, protected by Cuban enforcers, and the killings began. Several of the ambassador’s friends are now leading the protest against the Venezuelan government, and some have died. Examples: Russia 1917, China 1949, Cuba 1958, and now Venezuela.
.
The once most prosperous country in Latin America is now the poorest. Gasoline has to be imported from Iran and paid for by the few remaining gold reserves in Venezuela. According to the U.S. State Department, massive starvation and lack of medical supplies have led to a mass exodus and at least twenty percent of the population has emigrated.
.
“When you serve the Latin American people you get to love them, and I loved these people. Its difficult, however, to feel totally sympathetic when they continue to endorse despotic leaders with their promises of nirvana,” Ambassador Middendorf said.
.
Ambassador Middendorf was in China as an officer in the U.S. Navy in December 1945 as part of the occupation forces. George Atcheson, Jr., was Chargé d’Affaires in China and advisor to General MacArthur during World War II. He was mediating the conflicts between the Chinese Communist Party and the Kuomintang led by General Chiang Kai-shek. Atcheson did not try to hide his dislike for Chiang Kai-shek and labeled his government corrupt. He described Mao Zedong as “the George Washington of the Pacific.” Chiang Kai-shek also had a strained relationship with General Joseph W. Stillwell who was assigned to China in January 1942 to represent our interests.
.
Stillwell and Chiang Kai-shek clashed repeatedly about military strategy and the best use of military resources. Before Stillwell was replaced in 1944, he had shared much of his criticism of Chiang Kai-shek with his good friend, General George Marshall, who was sent to China in 1945 to unify the battling Nationalists and Communists into a strong non-Communist government that could serve as a bulwark against the Soviet Union. At the end of 1945, Middendorf’s ship was in China where he was temporarily assigned for the security forces when Marshall arrived.
.
After more than a year of negotiations, Marshall achieved no significant agreements. But the net effect was to weaken the Nationalists when, in a vain attempt to broker a ceasefire, he recommended that the sale of weapons and ammunition we had been making for the Nationalists be suspended between July 1946, and May 1947. This laid the groundwork for The Great Nightfall to fall on China in 1949, with the takeover by Mao and his communist forces. General Douglas MacArthur described Marshall’s mission as “one of the greatest blunders in American diplomatic history.” In addition, a number of American deaths in the Korean War occurred directly after the Chinese came to the aid of North Korea in 1951.
.
Middendorf’s next brush with communism was on a personal level. With several partners he owned a factory in Cuba manufacturing hardboard from sugar cane waste (bagasse). The plant provided a much-needed and scarce product not just for Cuba but also for the entire Caribbean, because of past deforestation. “With four hundred employees and a huge demand for our products, everything looked positive—until I made what turned out to be my final visit to Cuba in the late 1950s,” Middendorf said. “Before dawn one morning the plant manager, Bill Miller, warned that I had to leave immediately. A man named Fidel Castro was in the countryside, burning and looting everything in his path. We could hear gunfire in the distance and one of our warehouses was set on fire. We took off immediately in a small plane, and the pilot told me later when we landed in Havana that there were bullet holes in the tail of the aircraft. Castro and his enforcers confiscated our plant.”
.
By the end of 1959, Castro’s revolutionaries were making a final push to overthrow Fulgencio Batista’s regime. Just days after Batista fled the country, Ed Sullivan, host of a popular American television show, interviewed Castro. When asked about the future of his country, Castro vowed that Cuba would “never again be governed by a dictator.” Free elections would be held and Cuba would become a democratic society, Castro promised. Later, Castro declared himself a Marxist-Leninist, and The Great Nightfall descended on Cuba.
.
Years later during the Belize Independence ceremony, the U.S. delegation found itself placed directly behind Fidel Castro and his delegation. On a beautiful sunset evening, as the Union Jack came down and the Belize flag was slowly raised, the band played “The Belize Independence March” which Ambassador Middendorf had been asked to write for the occasion. The Ambassador had to spend a very uncomfortable two hours staring at the back of Fidel Castro’s head, the man who 25 years earlier, at gunpoint, had expropriated without compensation the company he owned in Cuba.
.
Following his 4-year tour at the OAS, Middendorf was confirmed as Ambassador to the European Economic Community (now called the European Union) where he was involved in wall-to-wall trade negotiations, most of them successfully won by his team. As a personal aside, on his watch, most of the trade deals, such as Boeing-Air Bus were unfortunately made with the French.
.
In 1991, as communism was collapsing in the Soviet Union, President Boris Yeltsin invited a team from the Heritage Foundation to help draft a constitution for the new Russia. The team was headed by Dr. Edwin J. Feulner, President of the Heritage Foundation, and included key members of the Heritage Foundation. As a member of the Board of Trustees, Middendorf was invited to participate.
.
Relations between Yeltsin and the Duma (Russian parliament) had been deteriorating for some time. The chief cause of Russia’s low standard of living was the inefficiency of its government-owned and managed enterprises, which misused the country’s skilled workforce, scarce capital, and raw materials. Yeltsin realized that privatization, the process of transferring state-owned facilities to private sector owners, was the only way the new Russia could survive and prosper.
.
After a number of visits and working with the head of the Russian delegation appointed by Yeltsin, the Heritage group wrote the “Russian Privatization Handbook,”and provided President Yeltsin with the new constitution that Dr. Feulner had commissioned. Dr. Sergei Kravchenko, head of the Russian delegation, sent a note to the Ambassador indicating that the privatization recommendations were now in place. He included an original copy of the “Privatization Handbook” including annotations by Russian legislators, a document Middendorf treasures today. The Feulner Commission went on to work with nine other nations following the collapse of the Soviet Union and was able to introduce to each of them free market principles that have led to their subsequent dynamic growth. The year 2021 will represent the 30th anniversary of The Feulner Commission when celebrations for Dr. Feulner’s world-changing accomplishments are planned.
.
During his public service career, Ambassador Middendorf served under five presidents: Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan.
.
Ambassador Middendorf is a forty-year trustee of the Heritage Foundation, as well as of the Naval Historical Foundation. He is a fifty-year chairman of the Committee for Monetary Research and Education, and a forty-year chairman of the Defense Forum Foundation. For forty years he was chairman of the awards program of the U.S. Navy League. He also served as President of the Reagan Alumni Association, and as President of the Navy War College Foundation. He was the co-founder of the Marine Corp Marathon, and ran the 26+ miles in each of the first eight marathons. He was elected to the Marine Corps Marathon Hall of Fame and each winner receives the Middendorf Award.
.
Ambassador. Middendorf was also a long-term treasurer of the International Republican Institute with John McCain as chairman. He also served as President of Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts
.
Trustee of:
.
• Georgetown University
.
• The Hoover Institution
.
• Boston Symphony
.
• Baltimore Museum of Art
.
• Corcoran Museum
.
• The Center for Strategic and International Security (CSIS)
.
• New York Historical Society •
.
He is a member of The Council of American Ambassadors and also an Honorary Member of The Society Of Cincinnati. Ambassador Middendorf is a member of the Walpole Society, and is on the visiting committees of the Metropolitan Museum, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and Harvard’s Fogg Art Museum. He was founding chairman of the Netherlands American Amity Trust, as well as, the founding chairman of the Friends of The American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and for sixty years his name has been carved in the marble stairway as a Major Benefactor of the museum.
.
Ambassador Middendorf is the author of three books:
.
• THE GREAT NIGHTFALL: How We Win The New Cold War. His most recent book highlights the decline of American defense forces in recent years, the current threats the world faces, and the need to regain military leadership. www.thegreatnightfall.com • Glorious Disaster: The Story of the 1964 Goldwater Campaign when he was Treasurer of the Republican National Committee. • Potomac Fever: A Memoir of Politics and Public Service* •
.
Ambassador Middendorf has an active interest in the arts and music. In addition to the pieces mentioned above, he has written a number of symphonies and an opera. In collaboration with the son of the Thai Ambassador to the Netherlands, Somtow Sucharitkul, he wrote the “Holland Symphony.” It was composed for the Queen of the Netherlands on the 25th anniversary of her reign and was performed over Dutch National Television.
.
In the Netherlands he worked with Joep Nicolas, the last of the great Lindberg School of Glassmakers to create an 80-foot-tall stained-glass window in the last remaining unfinished window space in the famous Delft Cathedral. The original window was destroyed during the Beeldenstorm of 1571, and in 1972, Joop and the Ambassador completed the window, which stands just a few yards from Vermeer’s burial resting place.
.
In the music field, Ambassador Middendorf, along with Somtow, sponsored monthly musical evenings at the American Embassy, inviting composers from all over the Netherlands to perform their works. The events went smoothly until the great pianist Arthur Rubinstein had to apologize that he could not play one evening because the Ambassador’s piano was a Bösendorfer and Rubinstein was under contract to Steinway.
.
Ambassador Middendorf is a prolific draftsman (he once was a cartoon editor of the Harvard Lampoon) and has made several thousand sketches of leaders and associates with whom he has come in contact over 70 years, as well as 150 drawings of art historian friends. He has also made 1,000 drawings of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Many of these will appear in a four-volume set which is being printing privately at Riverside Art in Somerset, Massachusetts. Ambassador Middendorf volunteered to teach an art class for the prisoners at the Bristol County House of Correction for five years. Sheriff Hodgson wrote him afterwards that this program was significant in reducing recidivism.
.
Over the last two years he and his daughter Franny, an accomplished artist and art teacher, have exhibited their paintings in multiple exhibitions in New York City.
.
Ambassador Middendorf has always had an active interest in sports. In the 1963 World Championships of Men’s Field Hockey in Lyon, France, he played on the U.S. National team. For almost a lifetime he has been an active rower, winning both U.S. National Masters and World Masters Rowing Championships. In 1986, he stroked the winning crew in the Vogalonga 20-mile regatta race around the Islands of Venice in which 4,000 boats participated. In the year 2020 at the age of 96 the ambassador competed in five virtual International Regattas, averaging 3000- 5000 meters each. He placed on average seventh in the senior categories and number one in the world in the Over-90 category.
.
Middendorf does not feel that he was in any way a top athlete, but he had a secret: in every race you reach a point where it seems impossible to do better, then you call on all reserves built up over months of training and new energy arises. He calls it the “Middendorf Corner” which makes all the difference between a winning and average performance.
.
At 96, the ambassador feels that his most important mission in life now is to warn America about the greatest threat to its survival that he believes America has ever faced, the newly formed coalition of China, Russia, North Korea and Iran. This concern prompted him to write The Great Nightfall: How We Win the New Cold War.
.
The Ambassador finds wisdom a very scarce item since it’s really a twin brother to humility, which is acquired after realizing the more one knows the less he really knows in the universe of things. He once met Einstein on a Harvard trip to Princeton and found him gracious and humble. Perhaps with accumulated knowledge of the infinity of the universe, Einstein realized how little he actually knew. The opposite of the identical twins, knowledge and humility, is another set of identical twins, ignorance and arrogance. He soon learned when he joined the military and the business world that he was not only arrogant, but also ignorant. “Young people today should not fear to get out into the arena but should make their mistakes early, because later their mistakes will be more costly. Cicero has suggested only a fool makes a second mistake. The Ambassador certainly qualified as a fool, because over his long lifetime he has only learned after his second or third mistake. “It’s embarrassing to admit to mistakes but at my age I have nothing to lose. As a young Wall Street analyst in 1953, I recommended investing in vacuum tubes, which were enjoying explosive growth in the new computer technology age. I did not recommended IBM itself. Just two months after my recommendation, the transistor was introduced, eliminating the need for vacuum tubes. I recommended we build a plant in Cuba in the early 1950s instead of Puerto Rico and my poor recommendation became obvious five years later when Castro confiscated our plant without compensation.”
.
As Ambassador to the OAS, Ambassador Middendorf joined with Dean Kirkpatrick to propose the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) which gave one-way free trade to the United States, this was a success. Buoyed by this success, later as chairman of the Mexican-American Business Council, he was a supporter of NAFTA, and we all know how that turned out.
.
For many years and even now, the Ambassador occasionally wakes up in the middle of the night screaming “All Back Full!” This refers to the time he was returning his ship from the long journey across the Pacific and approaching its final destination, Portland, Oregon on the Multnomah Channel. After battling the strong current for many hours, the ship approached its destination, a deperming dock. Middendorf gave orders, to bring the rudder eight degrees to port. The strong current pushed the bow into a 90-degree turn, aiming the bow directly at the deperming dock. Immediately he yelled orders, “All Back Full!” repeatedly to no avail because it takes almost a minute to reverse the two quads of 671 diesels which powered the ship. It slammed into the deperming dock knocking a new $4,500 dollar General Electric transformer into the water. An extremely irritated lieutenant commander stood on the dock fuming. After the ship was secured, Middendorf bribed the angry officer with a bottle of Scotch that he had been treasuring all the way from Hawaii. Fortunately the transformer was safely recovered and a court-martial was avoided.
.
Yesterday’s Cheers-How Faint The Echo! Ambassador Middendorf spent a good deal of his time with people who sought out the cheers as a way of life, in particular Nixon and to a certain degree Goldwater and Lyndon Johnson are in that category. He recalls the last days of the Goldwater campaign where in city after city Barry was met with riotous cheers. On the last day of the campaign Goldwater flew to Sedona, Arizona into a golden sunset, in a plane the Ambassador had rented for the campaign, which Goldwater, a WWII air force pilot, was flying. Goldwater slammed the plane down on the runway two or three times, laughing as some of the reporters in the back were beginning to vomit. He yelled at me “Bill how are we going to do tomorrow?” “Barry,” I replied, “It’s in the bag. I have heard the roar of the crowds!” The next day it was clear that we had lost by 17 million votes. It was in the bag, but for Johnson.
.
“Later I got to know at least a dozen ex-congressmen pretty well who have sought cheers as a way of life,” Ambassador Middendorf said. “I found them slow to realize that they have been seeking a false God. Oliver Wendell Homes once said that in the end all heroes become bores. Perhaps it is best to try to lead one’s life in a more steady fashion avoiding false Gods which are always coupled with very big let downs. As a personal suggestion to increase your balance and happiness in life, I recommend not overrating applause situations. Often the cheers are not for you, but against something else or someone else. If you want acclaim do it in your small group of fellow competitors or compatriots.
.
There is an Arab Proverb: “If you want to go fast go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” Ambassador Middendorf was extremely blessed by having a wonderful wife for 63 years, “Knowing me, she knew how to keep me humble,” he says. Amb. Middendorf was married for 63 years to Isabelle Middendorf (deceased December 1, 2016) having five wonderful children, seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
.
He had a wonderful partnership with Austen Colgate, where the Ambassador was the outside producer and overall manager and Austen was the remarkable inside manager, accounting for our success at Middendorf, Colgate and Co. He cites Soto Sucharitkul a genius in music, Joop Nicolaus, a master of stained glass windows, and, a total giant, Admiral Jimmy Holloway, Chief of Naval Operations when Middendorf was Secretary of the Navy; with Jack Beddow the Ambassador’s deputy at the bank; with Charlie Tanguy, Dr. Alberto Piedra, Dr. Rick Russi and Fred Emmert for their remarkable skills in diplomacy; with Jeremiah Millbank who, together with the Ambassador guided the finances of the Republican Party for 20 years; with Bernie Gewirtz Washington’s greatest realtor, when they joined together to build a major office building in Washington; one of American’s greatest scientists and friends, Tom Wysmuller,(to whom I am grateful for creating the annual award giving to the participant who has done the most for Dutch-American relations); to eight remarkable art historians, among the finest in the world: Dr. Claus Grimm, Dr. Peter Van Den Brink, Michael Heidelberg, Francoise Depoortere, Chris Apostle, George Gordon, Til-Holger Borchert and Otto Naumann; with Todd Creekman a great Navy Captain in my forty years in association with the Navy Historical Foundation; Ed Feulner and Jim Carafano for their brilliant leadership in national security; with professors Joseph Schumpeter and Ludwig Van Mises in my search for economic fundamentals; finally for research and advice on his books were four remarkable and brilliant writers Ken Dooley, Brayton Harris, Eric Berryman and Wayne Muller, and two remarkable long time executive assistants, Chris Hudson and Frances Nadeau totaling over fifty years consecutively; with Margaret Satell, a brilliant copy editor and proofreader and Dana Wilbur, my remarkable driver for over two decades; Dot Manchester a remarkable house keeper who has been with my family for 50 years; with my wonderful daughter Frances who has returned from Rome to make sure, at 96, he eats his vegetables, and keeps his art activities fresh; and to my remarkable daughter Amy and son John for helping with the biography and the book. “Can one imagine being so blessed in one life time to have so many wonderful children, friends and associates.”
.
Decorations and medals from the United States Government
.
• Superior Honor Award, U.S. Department of State, 1972 and again in 1982.
.
• U.S. Department of Defense of Distinguished Public Service Award, 1975 and again in 1976.
.
• U.S. Navy Distinguished Public Service Award, 1976 and again in 1987.
.
• American Campaign Medal
.
• Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
.
• World War II Victory Medal
.
• Navy Occupation Medal with “ASIS” clasp
.
• China Service Medal
.
Foreign orders, decorations and medals
.
• Grand Master in Order of Orange-Nassau, The Netherlands, 1985, (highest foreign decoration)
.
• Order of the Arab Republic of Egypt-Rank A from President Sadat (highest foreign decoration)
.
• Awarded the Golden Sword from the King of Saudi Arabia (since it’s value was in excess of hundreds of thousands of dollars, as we left the King’s tent, my aide Captain Bob’s Simms, gently took the Golden Sword from me, since it’s value exceeded the 55 dollar limit a government official could receive)
.
• Grand Master of the Order of Naval Merit-Republic of Brazil, 1974
.
• Naval Distinguished Service Medal, Brazil, 1976
.
Other honors include:
.
• Hero Sportsmen of The Year Gold Medal -awarded by The Head of The Charles Rowing Regatta(The World’s largest International Regatta with 10,000 boats from 150 countries) to Amb. Middendorf for stopping his own race to save the life of a fellow oarsman.
.
• Maritime Security Lifetime Excellence Award, 2002
.
• Hudson River Museum Honoree, 2009
.
• 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
.
• Association of Harvard Club of American Award (Music)
.
• Alumnus of the Year, 1989 New York University MBA, Keogh Award
.
• 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 Shield Award (The Ambassador served many years on the U.S Olympic Committee as well as the Steinbrenner commission of the Olympics)
.
• Gold Medal, Holland Society of New York, 1996
.
• American Bandmasters Association Edwin Franco Goldman Award 1985
.
• 1985 The O.A.S Music Award (composed 17 Concertos and Marches) for the Latin American and Caribbean nations during his tour as Ambassador to the O.A.S.
.
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
.
.
.
________________________________________________________________________________
.
A Heritage Foundation vice president, James Jay Carafano directs the think tank’s research into matters of national security and foreign relations.
.
________________________________________________________________________________
.
.
Sketches by Ambassador Middendorf selections from his 2000 sketches Privately published by Riverside Art, Somerset MA www.riversideart.com/fine-art-reproduction.html
.
.
.

.
.
.
.