Charles H. Sherrill (ambassador)

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Gen. Charles Hitchcock Sherrill (April 13, 1867, Washington, D.C. - June 25, 1936, Paris, France) was American politician, diplomat and sport officer.

Son of New York lobbist and state politician Charles H. Sherrill and Sarah Fulton (Wynkoop) Sherrill, Sherrill studied Yale University, called to the New York State Bar and became a New York City based lawyer.

During World War I he served as a Brigadier General and adjutant general with the New York National Guard.[1] He was appointed U.S. Minister to Argentina from 1909 to 1910, serving an important role in securing the contracts for two Rivadavia-class battleships during the South American dreadnought race,[2] and United States Ambassador to Turkey from 1932 to 1933.

Sherrill died in Paris, France in 1936.

Political views[edit]

Shortly after retiring from public office Sherrill proclaimed his admiration for Europe's strong men and predicted the coming end of parliamentary form of government, which he dubbed "inept" and referred to as "so-called democracy." In a long letter to the editors of The New York Times [3] he singled out Benito Mussolini, the fascist dictator of Italy, for praise and spoke of the "amazing betterment" of Italian life accomplished by the fascists. He wrote of Adolf Hitler, the newly installed leader of Germany, that "[w]hether one admires [him] or not, at least he is a leader who leads." Soon enough, Sherrill wrote, "[p]eople the world over [...] will follow courageous leaders."

In 1935, during the preparations for the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Sherrill met twice with Hitler and was, to quote a modern historian "mesmerized by the force of Hitler’s personality and charisma".[4] In his one-hour talk with Hitler Sherrill insisted that at least one token Jew be included in the German team for the Olympic Winter and one for the Olympic Summer Games. Hitler refused and when threatened by Sherrill with an American boycott he promised purely German Olympic Games. Sherrill sent the information on to IOC-President Baillet-Latour who did not insist on Jewish participation on the German teams. After the Nuremberg Racial Laws only Half-Jews (no more than two of the four grandparents being racially Jewish) were still permitted to represent Germany. With Theodor Lewald as President of the Organizing Committee for the Summer Games, Rudi Ball (hockey, Winter Games) and Helene Mayer (Fencing, Summer Games) three Half Jews calmed world public opinion.[5]


Sherrill was a successful athlete during his studies in the Yale University, winning inter-collegiate 100-yard dash titles four times in a row and 220 yards three times.[6] In 1888 he used crouch start for the first time in track and field sprints. Since 1922 till his death, he was an important member of the International Olympic Committee, playing vital role in organizing the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and calming American public opinion concerning the Nazi Olympics.[7]


He wrote twenty-two books, especially about stained glass windows in European churches and European and world politics.


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-08. Retrieved 2012-09-06. 
  2. ^ Livermore, Seward W. "Battleship Diplomacy in South America: 1905–1925." The Journal of Modern History 16: no. 1 (1944), 31–44. JSTOR 1870986. ISSN 0022-2801. OCLC 62219150.
  3. ^ The New York Times, June 4, 1933
  4. ^ Sayuri GUTHRIE-SHIMIZU, Architects of a Masquerade Peace: The United States and the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, The Japanese Journal of American Studies, No. 20 (2009), pp. 67-87
  5. ^ Arnd Krüger & William Murray (eds.): The Nazi Olympics. Sport, Politics and Appeasement in the 1930s. Champaign, IL: Univ. of Illinois Press 2003, ISBN 0-252-02815-5
  6. ^ "Olympic Committee Elects Sherrill," The New York Times, 7 June 1922, 27.
  7. ^ Arnd Krüger: The Nazi Olympics of 1936, in: Kevin Young & Kevin B. Wamsley (eds.): Global Olympics. Historical and Sociological Studies of the Modern Games. Oxford: Elsevier 2005, 43 – 58. ISBN 0-7623-1181-9.

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Joseph Grew
United States Ambassador to Turkey
Succeeded by
Robert Peet Skinner