|Name||Charles R. "Chuck" Larson|
Baltimore, Maryland , United States
|Contributor||U Ole Polecat|
|Last Modifed||NYDem Junior|
Oct 05, 2006 09:04pm
Swedish - Moderate-to-Liberal - Pro-Affirmative Action - U.S. Navy - Straight -
|Info||Admiral Charles Larson |
Born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 1936, Admiral Larson graduated as class president and brigade commander from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1958. During the 1960s he served as both a naval aviator and nuclear submarine officer. He was the first naval officer selected as a White House fellow, serving in 1968 as Special Assistant to Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall. He then served as the first Naval Aide to President Richard Nixon where he was responsible for carrying the black bag containing nuclear codes and plans. After completing this assignment, Admiral Larson went on to command nuclear submarines and then rose to Flag rank.
From 1983 to 1986, Admiral Larson served as Superintendent of the Naval Academy in Annapolis. In 1990 he was promoted to four-star rank and in 1991 became Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Command (CINCPAC). In this role, Admiral Larson served as the senior U.S. military commander in the Pacific, directing all Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force operations across 103 million square miles - more than 50 percent of the earth's surface. As CINCPAC he was responsible to the President and commanded 350,000 people.
In 1994, Admiral Larson returned to Annapolis to restore prestige and morale to the Naval Academy, becoming the first person in a century to serve a second term as Superintendent. During his four-year tenure, he rejuvenated the Academy, for example implementing character education and making community service a requirement for all midshipmen. Upon his retirement in 1998, not only was Admiral Larson commended for his leadership of the Academy, but also, for the first time ever, the entire Naval Academy received the Navy's Meritorious Unit Commendation for excellence.
Upon his retirement from active duty, the Navy offered to locate Admiral Larson anywhere in the United States. He chose to remain in Maryland, where he had spent more time than in any other State and where one of his daughters, Sigrid, graduated from Johns Hopkins University and another daughter, Erica, received a masters degree from University of Maryland College Park.
In 1998 he was appointed to chair a task force to chart the future of higher education in Maryland. Admiral Larson conducted public hearings all across Maryland, visiting colleges and universities in every region of the State. In January of 1999, the Larson Commission issued its findings, making sweeping recommendations that were soon implemented into law by the Maryland Legislature. A recognized expert on higher education, in 1999 Admiral Larson was appointed to the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland, where he was elected Vice-Chair.
Since his retirement, Admiral Larson has become a highly respected advisor and consultant to leading businesses in Maryland and across the nation, particularly in the technology, defense and energy sectors. He has served on the Boards of Directors of Northrop Grumman, Unocal, Constellation Energy Group and EDGE Technologies. In addition, he serves as Chairman of the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation.
For most of his life, party politics played no role in Admiral Larson's life. In 2000, however, he actively supported the Presidential campaign of his close friend and Naval Academy classmate, John McCain. In 2002, he changed his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat, joining his wife and daughters in the Democratic Party.