Dwight Filley Davis

DWIGHT FILLEY DAVIS was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on 5 July 1879; attended Smith Academy in St. Louis; graduated from Harvard University, 1900; established the Davis Cup as a trophy for excellence in international tennis competition; received a law degree from Washington University of St. Louis, 1903; became active in civic affairs; was a member of the public library board, 1904–1907, and the board of control of the Museum of Fine Arts, 1904–1907 and 1911–1912; married Helen Brooks, 1905; was a member of the house of delegates of the city government, 1907–1909, a member of the board of freeholders, 1909–1911, and chairman of the City Planning Commission, 1911–1915, and concurrently city park commissioner; exercised his special interest in recreational facilities by developing golf courses, baseball fields, and the first municipal tennis courts in the United States; served on the executive committee of the National Municipal League, 1908–1912; attended the Plattsburg Military Camp for businessmen, 1915; was a member of the Rockefeller War Relief Committee, 1916–1917; entered military service and participated in the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne operations with the 138th Infantry Regiment, 35th Division; became director of the War Finance Corporation; was Assistant Secretary of War, 1923–1924; served as Secretary of War, 14 October 1925–5 March 1929; superintended the Army’s first experiments with a mechanized force; was governor general of the Philippines, 1929–1932; following the death of his first wife, married Pauline Morton Sabin, 1936; was director general of the Army Specialist Corps, 1942; died in Washington, D.C., on 28 November 1945.

The Artist

Douglas Chandor (1897–1953) was born in Woldingham, Surrey, England, and studied art at the Slade School in London. He served with the British Army throughout World War I and was disabled and discharged in 1918. The following year he took up portrait painting and within three years had his first exhibit at the Royal Academy in London. In the early 1920’s he painted a series of portraits of the former prime ministers of the British Empire, and in 1926 he painted Queen Marie of Rumania. Chandor moved to the United States in 1926 and began to paint notable Americans, including Secretaries of War Davis and Good.


Portrait, Dwight Filley Davis

Coolidge Administration
By Douglas Chandor
Oil on canvas, 35½" x 27½", 1929

page created 6 March 2001

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