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Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr. Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

ADMIRAL ELMO R. ZUMWALT JR.
Born: November 29, 1920 in San Francisco, California
Died: January 2, 2000 in Durham, North Carolina
Biography | show moreshow less
A Naval Academy graduate who saw action on destroyers in World War II, Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr. (1920-2000) commanded Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla 7 from 1965 to 1966 in the Vietnam War. In 1968, he became Commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Vietnam and was promoted to Vice Admiral. Admiral Zumwalt served as Chief of Naval Operations from 1970 to 1974. At 49, he was the youngest man ever appointed to that post. He introduced many reforms to modernize the fleet and to make naval service a more attractive career. Admiral Zumwalt, as the Vietnam naval commander, ordered the spraying of Agent Orange, a dioxin-laced defoliant, to protect his sailors. In 1988, Zumwalt's son Elmo Zumwalt III - who had been a naval officer in the Mekong Delta and co-wrote My Father, My Son (1986), their memoir of experiences from that war - died of lymphoma believed to be linked to his exposure to the chemical. Admiral Zumwalt lobbied politicians to appropriate the funds necessary to help treat the thousands of Vietnam vets who were suffering from Agent Orange-related diseases. In 1996, President Clinton signed an order adding Agent Orange-related diseases to the eligibility list for medical benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Zumwalt received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998.
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