Winthrop W. Aldrich

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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.

Early years[edit]

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

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 served as president and chairman of the board of Chase National Bank from 1930 to 1953. During and after World War II, he was a leader in the organization of relief efforts and financial assistance to Europe. 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.

Private life[edit]

In 1916 Aldrich married Harriet Alexander.[1] 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.[2]


In 1947, he was appointed an honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire by King George VI.[2] This entitled him to use the postnominal letters GBE, but not to the prenominal title "Sir".


Further reading[edit]

Winthrop W. Aldrich: Lawyer, Banker, Diplomat by Arthur M. Johnson. 1968. Harvard University.

External links[edit]

Business positions
Preceded by
Albert H. Wiggin
Chase CEO
Succeeded by
John J. McCloy