Winthrop Williams Aldrich



Winthrop Williams Aldrich GBE (November 2, 1885 – February 25, 1974) was an American banker and financier, scion of a prominent political family, and US Ambassador to the United Kingdom.


Aldrich was born in Rhode Island in 1885, the son of Nelson W. Aldrich. He attended Harvard University, receiving a bachelor's degree in 1907 and a J.D. degree in 1910.


During the First World War Aldrich had built, at his own expense, the patrol boat USS Herreshoff No. 309 which was leased by Aldrich to the U.S. Navy and patrolled the waters off of Rhode Island from 15 November 1917 to 31 December 1918 when it was returned to Aldrich.


Aldrich had been commissioned a lieutenant (junior grade) in the Naval Reserve and was called to active duty on April 8, 1917 and was assigned to the Naval Training Station in Newport, Rhode Island. He transferred to the USS Niagara (SP-136) in September and was assigned as the ship's navigator. He was reassigned to the USS New Orleans (CL-22) in June 1918 and served on convoy duty. He was promoted to lieutenant on June 1 of the same year and, after the armistice, was released from active duty in December.


Aldrich served as president and chairman of the board of Chase National Bank from 1930 to 1953. He served as commodore of the New York Yacht Club from 1932 to 1934. During and after World War II, he was a leader in the organization of relief efforts and financial assistance to Europe. In 1947 he was invested by King George VI as an honorary Knight Grand Cross of the British Empire (GBE).


In 1953, he became US Ambassador to the UK under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and he remained in London until 1957. He belonged to and served on the boards of many charitable organizations.

In 1916 Aldrich married Harriet Alexander. His sister Abby Aldrich was the wife of John D. Rockefeller, Jr..


He was an amateur musician and an artist whose specialty was watercolor seascapes. As a yachtsman he was navigator, under skipper Harold S. Vanderbilt, of the 1930 America's Cup J Class defender Enterprise.





He built a 40-room manor on 108 acres in Brookville on Long Island.


In 1947, he was appointed an honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire by King George VI. This entitled him to use the post nominal letters GBE, but not to the prenominal title "Sir," and he was not a British subject.


He was a member of the exclusive and prestigious Pilgrims Society.  He had residences at 960 Fifth Avenue, New York City, at Islesbora, Mason and at Providence, Rhode Island.


Here I am at with Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison at the 2001 Texas State Society’s Black Tie & Boots Ball for the Inauguration week of fellow Texan George W. Bush.


Dwight Albert (D. A.) Sharpe

805 Derting Road East

Aurora, TX, 76078-3712

Biographical Sketch Information.