|James Guthrie Harbord|
General James G. Harbord
March 21, 1866|
|Died||August 20, 1947
Rye, New York
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1889–1922|
|Commands held||2nd Division (Army)
4th Marine Brigade
|Awards||Distinguished Service Medal|
Harbord was born in Bloomington, Illinois, and raised in Bushong, Kansas and Manhattan, Kansas. He graduated from Kansas State Agricultural College in 1886, and thereafter worked as an instructor at the college for two years. In 1889, he enlisted in the Army, and in 1891 he received a commission.
Harbord's first overseas experience came as a member of the occupation army in Cuba after the Spanish–American War. On January 21, 1899, during an extended leave, he married Emma Yeatman Overshine, daughter of Brigadier General Samuel Ovenshine. In 1901, he was promoted to Captain and transferred from Cuba, where he has served initially as quartermaster and commissary for the 10th Cavalry, and later as aide-de-camp and adjutant general of the department of Santiago and Puerto Principe. After serving briefly in the Secretary of War office, he requested and received transfer to duty in the Philippines with the 11th Calvary. He then served as Assistant Chief of the Philippine Constabulary from 1903 to 1909 and again from 1910 through 1913. By late April 1914 he was commanding the unit defending the California border at Calexico. In 1916, he was on the Mexican border with General John J. Pershing, pursuing Pancho Villa.
When the United States entered World War I in 1917, Harbord went to France as General Pershing's chief of staff, which won him a promotion to Brigadier General. Throughout the war he continued to work closely with General Pershing. In June 1918, he was given command of the Fourth Marine Brigade, which was serving as part of the Army Second Infantry Division, and then on July 15, briefly given command of the Division itself. He commanded the Marines during the Battle of Château-Thierry and the Battle of Belleau Wood. In August 1918, Harbord was recalled from the front and put in charge of troop and supply movement. Following the war, he was promoted to Major General and awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.
In August 1919, President Woodrow Wilson sent a fact-finding mission to the Middle East, headed by General Harbord, to investigate the feasibility of the Balfour Declaration, which supported the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine, taken from the Ottoman Empire during the war. Harbord was also to report on Turkish–Armenian relations in the wake of the Armenian Genocide. Upon returning to the United States, Harbord wrote the Conditions in the Near East: Report of the American Military Mission to Armenia, which was a summary of the expedition that provided various details of the mission. The report includes maps, statistics, and a historical analyses of the country and its population. In addition to such details, Harbord collected evidence and information regarding the massacres of Armenians and was an eyewitness to them. Harbord's report stated that "the temptation to reprisals for past wrongs" would make it extremely difficult to maintain peace in the region. The final conclusion of the report was the inclusion of Armenia in the possible American mandate for Asia Minor and Rumelia since a mandate for Armenia alone was not deemed feasible under these conditions.
Radio Corporation of America
In 1922, Harbord retired from the Army to become President of the Radio Corporation of America. While Harbord was President of RCA, the corporation undertook a number of significant moves. In 1926, RCA began television broadcasts and formed NBC. In 1928, RCA was one of four corporations that jointly formed RKO Pictures. Finally, in 1929, RCA acquired the Victor Talking Machine Company (maker of the famous "Victrola") and became RCA-Victor. In 1928, Harbord took a leave of absence to campaign for Herbert Hoover for President, and in 1930 he officially retired from the position, allowing David Sarnoff to assume the office.
- Leaves From a War Diary (1931)
- The American Army in France 1917-1919 (1936)
- John Arthur Garraty & Mark Christopher Carnes, ed. (1999). "James Harbord". American National Biography. volume 10: Handerson-Hofmann. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-512783-8.
- Robert McHenry, ed. (1978). "James Harbord". Webster's American Military Biographies. Merriam-Webster. ISBN 0-486-24758-9.
- "The Social World of Washington". The Times (Washington, D.C.). 28 January 1899. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
- "Captain Harbord Praised". Evening Star (Washington, D.C.). 25 May 1901. p. 2. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
- "Every Day Stories of the Workings and Workers of the Departments". The Evening Times (Washington, D.C.). 21 November 1901. p. 4. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
- "Forces Increase at Calexico". The Ogden Standard (Ogden City, Utah). 25 April 1914. p. 10. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
- Tanner, Beccy (May 17, 2010). "Lyon Co. native led troops in WWI". The Wichita Eagle. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
- Richard Hovannisian, ed. (2008). The Armenian genocide cultural and ethical legacies. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers. p. 123. ISBN 1-4128-0891-X.
- James G. Harbord
- "Conditions in the Near East: Report of the American Military Mission to Armenia". p. 22.
Considering...the isolation of certain regions where the temptation to reprisals for past wrongs will be strong for at least a generation, a certain force must be kept in hand to supplement the native constabulary when needed.
- Harbord, James G. (1920). Conditions in the Near East. Report of the American Military Mission to Armenia. Washington DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
- James Harbord at Find a Grave
- Short biography of Harbord
- James Gutherie Harbord, Lieutenant General, United States Army, Arlington National Cemetery profile.