Sunday, 31 August 2008

William H.G. FitzGerald

William H.G. FitzGerald - US Ambassador to Ireland; Vice chairman of Financial General Bankshares; Investor

HON. WILLIAM H. G. FITZGERALD, a former US Ambassador to Ireland and philanthropist, died in Washington, DC, on January 5, 2005. He was 96.

William Henry Gerald FitzGerald was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1931. After his Navy tour of duty concluded, he attended Harvard University’s law school. He served in the Navy during World War II.

In 1958, President Eisenhower appointed Mr. FitzGerald deputy director for management at the International Cooperation Administration (later AID). President George H. W. Bush appointed him US Ambassador to Ireland in 1992; he served until 1993.

Ambassador FitzGerald was a senior partner in the investment firm of Hornblower, Weeks, Hemphill, and Noyes, and vice chairman of Financial General Bankshares, a holding company. He was involved in housing projects in the Washington area from the 1940’s, including as chairman of the private North American Housing Corporation.

In 1987, Ambassador FitzGerald endowed a scholarship program for inner-city children in the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington. He was the senior member of the Order of Malta. He established a mentoring program for underprivileged children at the Washington Tennis Foundation. He set up a program under which Naval Academy midshipmen pursue postgraduate studies at Oxford University. He was vice chairman of the USG-chartered African Development Foundation and a trustee of several Washington institutions. He continued to play tennis and squash until recent years.

In addition to his wife of 63 years, Annelise Petschek FitzGerald of their home in Washington, Ambassador FitzGerald leaves two children and five grandchildren.
He was a former vice chairman of the congressionally mandated African Development Foundation, trustee of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, chairman of the White House Preservation Fund and treasurer of the Atlantic Council of the United States, an international affairs group. He was the senior member of the Order of Malta, a lay religious order of the Catholic church.
Box: 2 Fold: 4 1986 Correspondence Fa-Fl
January-July 1986 William H.G. FitzGerald, publisher, Sovereign Militarity Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta, Washington, DC. (Proof Positive)
The origins of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in the United States go back to 1927 with the founding of the American Association in New York. By 1953 the membership had become so diverse that the Sovereign Council established the Western Association, based in San Francisco.

For twenty years the Order grew throughout the country and in 1973, with the support of Cardinal William Baum, William H.G. FitzGerald requested that the Sovereign Council approve a third national association in the United States. On November 15, 1974, the Sovereign Council approved by formal decree the formation of the Southern Association of the Order of Malta with nine original members. Seven days later the Sovereign Council approved the transfer of eleven more Knights to the Southern Association. In 1985, the Sovereign Council approved the change of the name to the "Federal" Association to reflect more accurately the national composition of the organization. (Proof Positive II)

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