Bruce Sundlun

World War Ii Pilot
Born Jan 19, 1920

Bruce Sundlun was an American politician and member of the Democratic Party who served as 71st Governor of Rhode Island from 1991 to 1995. He was Rhode Island's second Jewish governor, and the only Jewish governor in the United States during his two terms. In addition to politics, Sundlun had a varied career as a military pilot, federal attorney, practicing lawyer, corporate executive and university lecturer.… Read More

related links

News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Bruce Sundlun.


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Bruce Sundlun.


1920 Birth Sundlun was born in Providence on January 19, 1920, to Walter Irving Sundlun and Jennette "Jan" Zelda (Colitz) Sundlun. … Read More


1933 13 Years Old In 1933, while attending Boy Scout camp at Camp Yawgoog, he fell through ice on a pond and was rescued by a young John Chafee; and while in high school, he was a track star and excelled in long jump events.
1938 18 Years Old Upon finishing college classes begun in 1938, he received a B.A. from Williams College in 1946 after serving during World War II in the United States Army Air Forces flying B-17 bombers in the 8th Air Force in England. … Read More


1941 - 1943 3 More Events
1944 24 Years Old 1 More Event
…  But after deciding that there was too much danger of capture or loss in the snowy Pyrenees, he made his way on stolen bicycles north-eastward across France and escaped into Switzerland on May 5, 1944 near Fêche-l'Église. … Read More
1945 25 Years Old 1 More Event
In August 1945, Sundlun attained the rank of captain, and left active service at the end of the war. … Read More
1948 28 Years Old In September 1948 Sundlun flew surplus B-17 bombers from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona to the newly created state of Israel to help form the Israeli Air Force. … Read More
1949 29 Years Old 1 More Event
From 1949 to 1972, Sundlun was a practicing attorney.


1954 34 Years Old From 1954 to 1972, he was in private law practice in both Washington, D.C. and Providence, with the law firms of Amram, Hahn, and Sundlun, and Sundlun, Tirana and Scher. … Read More


1960 40 Years Old Sundlun served as a co-chairman of the inaugural parade committee for President John F. Kennedy in 1960 and 1961, and was appointed by President Kennedy in October 1962 as an incorporating member of the Communications Satellite Corporation (COMSAT), where he served for 30 years as a director.
1964 44 Years Old He was a pioneer in the jet charter industry in 1964 by being one of the founding members of the board of directors of Executive Jet Aviation (EJA), along with Air Force generals Curtis E. LeMay, and Paul Tibbetts, and entertainers James Stewart and Arthur Godfrey among others, with retired Air Force Brigadier General Olbert F. ("Dick") Lassiter as president and chairman of the board. … Read More


1970 50 Years Old On July 2, 1970 Sundlun was installed as EJA president, and he set out to rebuild the company. … Read More
1972 52 Years Old Sundlun also had three sons from his first marriage to Madeleine Schiffer Gimbel: Tracy Walter Sundlun, Vice President of Competitor Group, a promoter and manager of marathon races who at 17 coached track at the 1972 Olympic Games and was the youngest ever Olympic coach; Stuart Arthur Sundlun, a financial services executive managing the New York operations of Triago and the BMB Group; and Peter Bruce Sundlun, a commercial airline pilot with Dominion Aviation Services and Atlantic Southeast Airlines until 2009, becoming a Transportation Security Officer with the Transportation Security Administration. … Read More
1976 56 Years Old 1 More Event
When Paul Tibbetts became president of EJA in 1976, he said that the company's turn around, under Sundlun's guidance, was one of the nation's great business success stories of that decade. … Read More
1978 58 Years Old In 1978, President Jimmy Carter appointed him as a member of the Board of Visitors of the United States Air Force Academy where he served two four-year terms, and that same year, he was appointed by Governor J. Joseph Garrahy as a Rhode Island Commodore.


1981 61 Years Old He presided over the corporation during the 1981 sale of the company's flagship Providence department store, sale of several radio stations, the merger of The Outlet Company with the Rockefeller Group in 1984, and the renaming of the company to Outlet Communications. … Read More
1986 66 Years Old 1 More Event
And in his last three years as president between 1986 and 1988, he led the sale of the Outlet Communications stations in Orlando, San Antonio and Sacramento.
1991 - 1992 2 More Events
He served a four-year term as a director of the National Security Education Board, appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993. … Read More
1997 77 Years Old In December 1997, in East Greenwich, Sundlun attempted to purchase some plastic forks after hours from a nearby CVS/pharmacy for a Christmas party he was attending. … Read More
2007 87 Years Old In his later years, Sundlun had been involved in some traffic accidents and traffic violations, which led two Rhode Island police departments, North Kingstown in 2007 and Jamestown in 2009, to convince the state Department of Motor Vehicles to evaluate Sundlun's ability to drive.
2008 88 Years Old In 2008, he was admonished by authorities of University of Rhode Island about his driving on the campus after separate incidents in which he drove on a sidewalk, nearly hit a professor who was walking with a cane, and allegedly hit a parked car. … Read More
He was named an honorary citizen of Jabbeke in 2009 because of the fact that his actions saved countless lives in the town center of Jabbeke.
2011 91 Years Old 1 More Event
Sundlun was accorded full state and military honors prior to and at his funeral and burial on July 24, 2011. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.