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Donovan, William Joseph (01 January 1883–08 February 1959), lawyer, soldier, and intelligence official, was born in Buffalo, New York, the son of Timothy Patrick Donovan, a railroad yardmaster, and Anna Letitia Lennon. After starting college at Niagara University, Donovan transferred to Columbia University from which he received an A.B. in 1905 and an LL.B. in 1907. He joined the law firm of Love and Keating in Buffalo. In 1912 he and Bradley Goodyear formed a partnership that merged with Buffalo’s leading firm, O’Brian and Hamlin, to become O’Brian Hamlin Donovan and Goodyear. Hamlin’s withdrawal led to the firm’s dissolution in 1920. Meanwhile, in 1914, Donovan married socially prominent Ruth Rumsey. They had two children....

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Leffingwell, Russell C. (10 Sept. 1878–2 Oct. 1960), lawyer, financier, and federal government official, was born Russell Cornell Leffingwell in New York City to Mary Cornell Leffingwell and Charles Russell Leffingwell. Charles Leffingwell, whose ancestors played a major role in the development of colonial and revolutionary Connecticut, operated his wife’s family’s lucrative iron business. He sent his son to fine private schools, first to Yonkers Military Academy and then to New York City’s Halsey School, where he graduated in ...

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Lilienthal, David Eli (08 July 1899–14 January 1981), attorney and government official, was born in Morton, Illinois, the son of Leo Lilienthal, a merchant, and Minnie (or Minna) Rosenak, who were both Czech immigrants. After attending local public schools, Lilienthal studied at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, receiving a bachelor’s degree and election to Phi Beta Kappa in 1920. In college he also excelled as a light heavyweight boxer, developing a skill he had been taught as a teenager. That fall he entered Harvard Law School, where the teachings of one of his professors, ...

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Webb, James Edwin (07 October 1906–27 March 1992), lawyer, was born in Tally Ho, North Carolina, the son of John Frederick Webb, a county school superintendent, and Sarah Edwin Gorham. Webb entered the University of North Carolina in 1923, dropped out to work for a year, and reenrolled in 1925. While taking classes toward a degree in education, Webb worked part time in the university’s Bureau of Educational Research. He then stayed on with the bureau as a full-time employee after earning his B.A. in 1928....