Kenneth Claiborne Royall

KENNETH CLAIBORNE ROYALL was born in Goldsboro, North Carolina, on 24 July 1894; graduated from the University of North Carolina, 1914; was admitted to the North Carolina bar, 1916; attended Harvard University Law School and received his degree, 1917; married Margaret Best, 1917; served in France as a second lieutenant in the 317th Army Field Artillery, 1918–1919; was commissioned a captain in the North Carolina National Guard and organized a Field Artillery battery, 1921; resumed the practice of law in Raleigh and Goldsboro, North Carolina; served in the state senate, 1927; was president of the North Carolina Bar Association, 1929–1930; was a presidential elector, 1940; was commissioned a colonel, 1942, and appointed chief of the legal section, fiscal division, Headquarters, Services of Supply (later Army Service Forces); received presidential appointment to defend before the Supreme Court the German saboteurs who entered the United States clandestinely; was promoted to brigadier general and appointed deputy fiscal director of Army Service Forces; was special assistant to the Secretary of War, April–November 1945; served as Under Secretary of War, 9 November 1945–18 July 1947; served as the last Secretary of War, 19 July–17 September 1947; supervised the separation of the Department of the Air Force from the Department of the Army; became first Secretary of the Army when National Defense Act of 1947 took effect, 17 September 1947–27 April 1949; was the last Army secretary to hold the cabinet status, which was henceforth assigned to the Secretary of Defense; returned to the practice of law in New York City; was a delegate at large to the Democratic National Convention, 1964; died in Durham, North Carolina, on 25 May 1971.

The Artist

Alfred Jonniaux (1882–1974) was born in Brussels, Belgium, and studied at the Athenée d’Ixelles and the Académie des Beaux Arts there. He established studios in London and Paris and painted the portraits of various representatives of European royalty, also specializing in character studies and landscapes. Jonniaux fled the Nazi occupation of Western Europe and became a naturalized American citizen in 1946. He established studios in San Francisco and Washington and painted portraits of many prominent figures, including Kenneth Royall, the last Secretary of War and the first Secretary of the Army.


Portrait, Kenneth Claiborne Royall

Truman Administration
By Alfred Jonniaux
Oil on canvas, 49½" x 39½", ca. 1949

page created 9 March 2001

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