Senator Charles Ford announced the unveiling of a portrait of Admiral William J. Crowe, the latest in a series of paintings commissioned by the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund, Inc. The portrait by nationally- renowned artist Mike Wimmer of Norman, was unveiled during a ceremony in the Senate Chamber this afternoon.
“This is an exceptional piece depicting one of Oklahoma’s finest men. Admiral Crowe is an amazing person who has devoted his life to serving his country. This portrait is a tribute to his service,” said Senator Ford, President of the Senate Historical Preservation Fund, Inc.
Senator Ford explained that William Crowe served in the White House from 1954-55 as the Assistant Naval Attache’ to President Dwight D. Eisenhower. He then commanded the submarine, USS Wahoo, from 1957 to 1959. Later in 1962, he served on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington.
Crowe also served in Vietnam as the Senior Advisor to the Vietnamese Navy Riverine Force in the Mekong Delta. Following his promotion to rear admiral, Crowe commanded U.S. Naval Forces in the Persian Gulf. He then was promoted to vice admiral and became the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Plans, Policy and Operations.
In 1980, he was promoted to 4-star rank and was named the Commander in Chief of NATO forces in Southern Europe, with headquarters in Naples, Italy. In 1983, he was named the Commander in Chief of Pacific Forces, the largest geographic command in the U.S. military.
President Reagan in 1985 appointed Crowe the 11th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation’s highest military position. He served until October 1989, having declined an invitation from President Bush to remain in the position. President Clinton named Crowe the Chairman of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board in 1993.
From 1994-1997, he served as the American Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. He currently is the Chairman of the Board of Visitors for the International Programs Center of Oklahoma University. He is also the Chairman of the Advisory Board of GlobalOptions, Inc., an international security and investigative firm based in Washington.
“He has led an amazing life. His accomplishments are innumerable. Not only is he a highly decorated officer in the U.S. Armed Forces, he has also served as Ambassador to the United Kingdom. I can’t think of a better man to represent our great nation,” Ford said. “He is a man with many hats. He also served as a Trustee of Princeton University and is an accomplished author.”
The painting is a gift from Senator Glenn Coffee and his family. Senator Coffee represents District 30, the area in northwest Oklahoma City where Admiral Crowe was raised. Coffee currently serves as the Assistant Republican Floor Leader.
This and other art commissioned by the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund, Inc. can be found on the Internet at: http://www.lsb.state.ok.us/senate/welcome.html.