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First Name: Palmer

Last Name: Pierce

Birthplace: IL, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: E.

Date of Birth: 23 October 1865

Date of Death: 17 January 1940

Rank: Brigadier General

Years Served: 1891 - 1930
Palmer E. Pierce

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1891

•  Spanish-American War (1898)
•  World War I (1914 - 1918)
•  Mexican Expedition (1916 - 1917)


Palmer E. Pierce
Brigadier General, U.S. Army

Palmer E. Pierce was born on 23 October 1865.

Pierce, a native of Illinois, graduated from Grinnell College and the U.S. Military Academy, where he received his commission as a Second Lieutenant in 1891. Pierce served in the Spanish American War before becoming Athletic Director at West Point.

An advocate of organizing amateur college sports to prevent them from being taken over by professionals, he was a founder of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and served as President almost continuously from 1905-30.

Pierce was an Honor Graduate of the Army War College and served in the 1916 Villa Expedition. He served in France throughout World War I, most notably as Commander of the 54th Infantry Regiment and Assistant Chief of Staff of the American Expeditionary Force. He was a recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal and a promotion to Brigadier General, the rank he held at his 1930 retirement.

After leaving the Army he was employed as Assistant to the President of the Standard Oil Company. Pierce died of a stroke while speaking to the Pan-American Society in New York City.


• Pierce donated a silver cup he originally received from the NCAA, now the Palmer E. Pierce Trophy, to the Army Athletic Association, which since 1943 has awarded it annually to West Point's Intramural Football Champion.

• The Palmer E. Pierce Room at the NCAA's Indianapolis headquarters is named for him.

Death and Burial

Brigadier General Palmer E. Pierce died on 17 January 1940 in New York, NY. He is buried at the U.S. Military Academy Post Cemetery at West Point, NY.

Honoree ID: 2960   Created by: MHOH




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