Mark Lambert Bristol

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Mark Lambert Bristol
Mark Lambert Bristol.jpg
Born(1868-04-17)April 17, 1868
Glassboro, New Jersey
DiedMay 13, 1939(1939-05-13) (aged 71)
Washington, D.C.
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branchSeal of the United States Department of the Navy.svg United States Navy
Years of service1887–1932
RankRear Admiral
Battles/warsSpanish–American War
Battle of Santiago de Cuba
World War I
Turkish War of Independence
AwardsDistinguished Service Medal

Mark Lambert Bristol (April 17, 1868 – May 13, 1939) was a Rear Admiral in the United States Navy.


He was born on April 17, 1868, in Glassboro, New Jersey. Bristol graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1887. During the Spanish–American War, he served aboard the battleship USS Texas and participated in the Battle of Santiago de Cuba. From 1901 to 1903, he served as aide to the Commander-in-Chief North Atlantic Fleet. He commanded the battleship USS Oklahoma during World War I.

He served as the United States' High Commissioner in Turkey (1919–1927). His correspondence and other documents he gathered are often cited during discussions on numerous events of that era, including Turkish-Armenian relations, where he played a significant role in his opposition to Armenian aspirations and American involvement in assuming a mandate in Armenia,[1] Some of these documents includes writings such as this in reference to a Greek newspaper reporter, "Mrs. Danos was typical of the races in this part of the country. She is obsequious and cringing and says she wants the truth but she probably couldn't write the truth if she knew it."[2] Bristol's racist hate is well documented in the collection and is particularly rich in its coverage of his duties as commander of the U.S. Naval Detachment in Turkish Waters and concurrent service as United States high commissioner to Turkey after World War I. Topics from the period include racial and religious conflicts in the Near East;the Great fire of Smyrna; Allied activities in pursuit of special interests, mandates, and empire; the decline of the Ottoman Empire; and the rise of Mustafa Kemal and the Nationalist Movement that led to the founding of modern Turkey.[3]

In 1927, Rear Admiral Bristol assumed command of the Asiatic Fleet. He helped found the American Hospital in Nişantaşı, İstanbul in 1920, as well as the annexed nursing school which is named after him to this day (Admiral Bristol Nursing School).

Bristol served as chairman of the General Board of the United States Navy from 1930 until 1932. He died on May 13, 1939.[4] After his death, in 1945 he was honored by renaming the American Hospital in Turkey to Admiral Bristol American Hospital.


Two ships have been named USS Bristol in his honor.[5]


  1. ^ Hovannisian, Richard G., The Republic of Armenia: The First Year, 1918–1919. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971, p. 298, note 23.
  2. ^ Ureneck, Lou (2016). Smyrna. Harper Collins. p. 255. ISBN 978-0-06-225989-9.
  3. ^ "Manuscript Division, Library of Congress Washington, D.C. 2009" (PDF).
  4. ^ "Admiral Bristol Is Dead In Capital. Earned Distinction in High Positions at Sea and Ashore and in Diplomacy. Commissioner To Turkey. Commended by Hughes for His Work There. Had Headed the Asiatic Fleet". New York Times. May 14, 1939. Retrieved 2010-12-03. Rear Admiral Mark L. Bristol, who retired in 1932 after forty-nine years in the Navy, died in the Naval Hospital here today at the age of 71. He entered the hospital on Monday after having undergone an operation at Johns Hopkins Hospital three weeks ago. ...
  5. ^ "Two Destroyers are Launched". Associated Press. July 25, 1941. Retrieved 2010-12-03. The destroyer was named in honor of the late Bear Mark Lambert Bristol who served In the Spanish–American War and the World War after which he was ...


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Military offices
Preceded by
Clarence S. Williams
Commander-in-Chief, United States Asiatic Fleet
9 September 1927 – 9 September 1929
Succeeded by
Charles B. McVay, Jr.