William Stamps Farish III
|United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom|
July 12, 2001 – July 10, 2004
|President||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Philip Lader|
|Succeeded by||Robert H. Tuttle|
|Born||March 17, 1939|
Houston, Texas, U.S.
|Relations||William Farish II (grandfather)|
Martha F. Gerry (aunt)
|Alma mater||University of Virginia|
Family and early life
He was an only child, his father, Army Lt. William Stamps Farish Jr., died in a training flight near Waxahachie, when he was 4 years old. His grandfather is William Stamps Farish II, the founder of Humble Oil and Refining Company, which struck oil in the Houston suburb Humble, part of what was later to become the Exxon behemoth. William Stamps Farish II was appointed chairman of Standard Oil by John D. Rockefeller and went on to become president of Standard Oil from 1937 to 1942. His other grandfather was Robert E. Wood, who was the chief executive officer of the Sears, Roebuck & Co. Wood was the leader in the Old Right movement from the 1920s through the 1960s as well as a key financial backer of the America First Committee. Farish grew up in Houston, where he attended St. John's School and, after graduating from South Kent School (CT) during 1958, graduated from the University of Virginia.
Growing up his mother, Mary Farish, George H. W. Bush (later 41st President of the United States) and Barbara Bush were very close friends. When Bush moved to Texas in 1948, it was the Farish connection that gave him his start in his career in the oil industry. Farish was taken in 'almost like family' – said Barbara Bush, while campaigning for George H. W. Bush's entrée into Washington Senatorial politics in 1964. During that unsuccessful campaign, Farish claimed to have been the first man to whom Bush confided his ultimate aim was to be president one day.
The Bush-Farish alliance dated back to 1929. In that year the Wall Street investment bank of W. Averell Harriman bought Dresser Industries (later Halliburton), a supplier of oil-pipeline to Standard Oil and other oil companies. Prescott Bush, George H. W. Bush's father was a Harriman and Company executive who became a director and financier of Dresser and he served on the board of directors for twenty-two years.
He later served as President of Navarro Exploration Company. Farish was also a founding Director of Eurus, Inc., a bank holding company in New York as well as of Capital National Bank in Houston. Farish owns W.S. Farish & Co., a trust company based in Houston. In 2003, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Kentucky. He has served on the board of directors of Vaalco Energy Inc.
In 1966, he entered the Board of directors of Zapata Petroleum Company founded in 1953 by George H. W. Bush. Farish said to have been the first man to whom Bush confided his ambition to be president one day. Farish was George H. W. Bush's very first personal aide when he went into politics, and 28 years later, before the Bushes left the White House, his son, William Stamps Farish IV, also served in that position.
Farish was in the investment business. He owned the W.S. Farish & Co. investment firm, he managed the blind trust that Bush had to set up when he became vice-president in the Eighties. He had dealings in oil and gas exploration, mining, cattle ranching and local television stations.
Lane's End Farm
A breeder of thoroughbred racehorses, in 1979 Farish bought the 240 acres that had been Bosque Bonita Farm in Versailles, Kentucky. Over the years it would be expanded to 1,800-acre (7.3 km2) and renamed Lane's End Farm.
Lane's End has a secondary 400-acre (1.6 km2) operation near Hempstead, Texas. Farish's operations have bred and/or raced over 225 horses that became stakes winners, both individually and with partners. In 1972, his horse Bee Bee Bee won the Preakness Stakes and his filly Casual Look won a British Classic, the 2003 Epsom Oaks. In 1992, and again in 1999, he received the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Breeder. Farish has served as chairman of Churchill Downs, home to the Kentucky Derby.
Horse racing honors
Ambassador to the U.K.
Farish was nominated by President George W. Bush as U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom on March 5, 2001, appointed on July 11, 2001, and served until he resigned in early summer 2004.[excessive citations]
The United Kingdom newspaper The Guardian commented on his low profile during the period leading up to the Iraq War. Christopher Meyer, who was British Ambassador to Washington during Farish's service, said that "as ambassador [Farish] proved as agreeable as he was invisible."
They are the parents of one son, William Stamps Farish IV, and three daughters, Mary Farish Johnston, Laura Farish Chadwick, Hillary Farish Stratton. Laura Farish, one of his daughters, worked in the White House as one of Bush's scheduling aides.
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- Christopher Meyer: D.C. Confidential, 2005 Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 0-297-85114-4
- "Social Dinner in Honor of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall Hosted by the President and Mrs. Bush Guest List". georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
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