Bruce Sundlun
American World War II pilot
Bruce Sundlun
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.
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The Eulogizer: Shamir, Abutbul, Sundlun, Pearle - Heritage Florida Jewish News
Google News - over 5 years
Bruce Sundlun, the governor of Rhode Island from 1991 to 1995, died at his home in Jamestown, RI, on July 21 at 91. Sundlun was a World War II hero, successful businessman, prominent member of the Rhode Island Jewish community and a colorful character
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Bill Reynolds: Tiger's comeback has been nothing but rough - Providence Journal
Google News - over 5 years
•Baseball doesn't need a clock, but it does need umpires who don't allow hitters to step out of the box on virtually every pitch. •RIP Bruce Sundlun, one of this column's longtime go-to guys. So I miss him already, even if the raccoons don't
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Amerikaanse oorlogsheld van Jabbeke overleden - Het Nieuwsblad
Google News - over 5 years
JABBEKE - Oorlogsheld Bruce Sundlun (91) is overleden. De piloot van een Amerikaanse bommenwerper die op 1 december 1943 neerstortte in Jabbeke, overleefde de crash als enige van de zeskoppige crew. In het dorp werd hij onthaald als een held,
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PC grad Smith is women's winner; Ethiopian Kumsa Megersa overall winner - Providence Journal
Google News - over 5 years
Bruce Sundlun Memorial Trophy. His son, Tracy Sundlun, a senior vice president at Competitor Group and one of the founders of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series, said his father would have been proud. Also among the competitors were Providence police
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Central Falls receiver is a high-powered lawyer who relishes a challenge - Providence Journal
Google News - over 5 years
Some suggest that Flanders is the Bruce Sundlun of Central Falls –– referring to the late former governor who took decisive action on his first day in office by closing 45 banks and credit unions because their private insurer had collapsed
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Runner's and Triathlete's Web News - RunnersWeb
Google News - over 5 years
... in the inaugural Rock 'n' Roll Providence Half Marathon, I know my father was looking forward to watching her run," said Tracy Sundlun, Senior Vice-President of event organizer Competitor Group and son of the late Governor Bruce Sundlun
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Mark Patinkin: Thoughts at Large - Providence Journal
Google News - over 5 years
I'm guessing most people would like to live life as largely as Bruce Sundlun did, with as much drama, but few have the guts. • News Flash, 2021: “The state of Rhode Island officially closed all branches of government yesterday except for the collection
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RI's Governor Chafee talked up for third-party presidential bid in 2012 - Providence Journal
Google News - over 5 years
Bruce Sundlun's recent death, everyone had a Sundlun story. Here is one from the Journal archives, involving his September 1992 response to a question about how his chief of staff David Cruise, now a state traffic court magistrate, handled information
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Bruce Sundlun, 91, Rhode Island Governor With Flair
NYTimes - over 5 years
Bruce G. Sundlun, a former Democratic governor of Rhode Island whose tenure was marked by dramatic events both public and private, including a statewide banking crisis on his first day in office and a lawsuit -- happily resolved -- by a Midwestern teenager who said she was his daughter, died on Thursday at his home in Jamestown, R.I. He was 91. His
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Woonsocket, Pawtucket Prepare To Move Forward With Education Funding Lawsuit -
Google News - over 5 years
A 1993 lawsuit against then Governor Bruce Sundlun's proposal for cutting education funding won in Superior Court when a judge argued that it gave students in wealthy districts an unfair edge over children attending schools in poorer communities
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New York man paralyzed in fall from Newport's Cliff Walk seeks new trial ... - Providence Journal
Google News - over 5 years
Bruce Sundlun and Newport Mayor Robert McKenna. The letter stated that “primary responsibility for supervision of the Cliff Walk and its maintenance can be narrowed to two entities; namely the State of Rhode Island and the City of Newport
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Push for Kennedy picks up steam -
Google News - almost 6 years
Bruce Sundlun will lead the local fund-raising effort. Mr. Lennon said the Navy did leave a small window open for Portland, Maine, to re-enter the competition if the Portland group can identify a site for the ship and meet funding requirements within
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Retired Intrepid President Bill White to assist RIAHOF's Fundraising Campaign ... - 1888 Press Release (press release)
Google News - almost 6 years
Leading the local fundraising effort is former Rhode Island Governor Bruce Sundlun, a WWII B-17 bomber pilot who retired from the Air Force as a colonel and also chaired President John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Parade in 1961; he has a personal interest
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Bringing JFK back to Newport - Warwick Beacon
Google News - almost 6 years
Former Rhode Island Governor Bruce Sundlun has committed to lead the local fundraising effort. Sundlun is a World War II B-17 bomber pilot who retired from the Air Force as a colonel. He chaired President John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Parade in 1961 and
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Political Scene: Heated discussions preceded Watson's ouster - Providence Journal
Google News - almost 6 years
Chafee was back in Rhode Island in time for an evening roundtable discussion with four of his predecessors: former Governors Donald Carcieri, Bruce Sundlun, Edward D. DiPrete and J. Joseph Garrahy. That in-studio discussion was hosted by the Providence
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Barbara Ann DeBuono, M.D., M.P.H. Appointed President and CEO of ORBIS ... - PR Newswire (press release)
Google News - almost 6 years
Barbara was the Commissioner of Health for the State of New York in the first term of Governor Pataki, having previously served as Director of Health in Rhode Island in the cabinet of Governor Bruce Sundlun. She was a senior consultant to the World
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Video: Follies Poke Fun at Portsmouth, Politicians -
Google News - almost 6 years
Bruce Sundlun to Portsmouth Town Councilor Judi Staven. The event, held inside the Common Fence community hall on Anthony Road, was a fundraiser for the Portsmouth Democratic Town Committee. More than 200 Democrats and Republicans from Portsmouth,
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Mount To Host Advocacy Training For Catholic School Parents -
Google News - almost 6 years
... of Governor Bruce Sundlun, also stressed the efficacy of letters and phone calls to their legislators, sharing behind-the-scenes anecdotes about the cumulative effect of the phone calls, letters, and messages that result from grassroots campaigns
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WEDDINGS/CELEBRATIONS: VOWS; Kara Sundlun and Dennis House
NYTimes - over 13 years
IN the past 10 years, Kara Sundlun has met the two most important men in her life, getting to know both in the glare of television spotlights. Neither story could have been better scripted. In 1993, when she was Kara Hewes and a 17-year-old high school senior in Michigan, she became the catalyst of a media storm by filing a suit against her father,
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Bruce Sundlun
  • 2011
    Age 91
    Sundlun was accorded full state and military honors prior to and at his funeral and burial on July 24, 2011.
    More Details Hide Details He was buried at Sons of David and Israel Cemetery (Temple Beth El Cemetery) in Providence, Rhode Island.
  • 2009
    Age 89
    On June 4, 2009, Sundlun was on a WPRO radio talk show in which he claimed that he flew a private plane owned by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Votolato, 79, from T. F. Green Airport to Hartford, Connecticut.
    More Details Hide Details Within days, Judge Votolato and Sundlun had issued a statement that the judge was in fact in full control of the aircraft. While Votolato's pilot's license had been maintained up to date, Sundlun's commercial pilot's license had expired in the late 1970s.
    On April 30, 2009, Sundlun voluntarily surrendered his license.
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    On February 24, 2009, Sundlun was involved in a dispute over his place in line at a branch of Citizens Bank in East Greenwich.
    More Details Hide Details Sundlun was pushed to the ground by Charles Machado, 59, of Warwick. Sundlun hit his head and was stunned, but he declined to press charges against Machado.
    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.
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  • 2008
    Age 88
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Sundlun passed the first driving test which was the result of the North Kingstown request.
  • 2007
    Age 87
    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.
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  • 1997
    Age 77
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Employees had closed their registers for the day, yet had not secured the premises. CVS workers apologized for the misunderstanding but said they could not accept payment as the transaction could not be registered due to deactivation of their cash registers. Police were called after an argument let out between Sundlun and the employees. Sundlun eventually issued an apology to the employees and the pharmacy chain for his actions.
  • 1993
    Age 73
    In July 1993, when he thought that three raccoons on his estate in Newport were rabid, Sundlun shot at them with a 12-gauge shotgun.
    More Details Hide Details Later the Providence Journal-Bulletin reported that the act was illegal according to state fish and game laws. The day of the publication, Sundlun turned himself in to the state police for arrest stating that ethics was the cornerstone of his administration. The state police reluctantly complied, so the case went to court and Sundlun pleaded guilty. But state officials and his own lawyer Robert Flanders, convinced Sundlun that his actions were not a crime because his estate did not constitute a "compact area" and because the threat of rabies that year had led the state to waive restrictions on shooting raccoons. His guilty plea was withdrawn and all charges were dropped. Sundlun was well known for making light of popular controversy in a colorful fashion. After the raccoon shooting incident, Sundlun agreed to pose for a calendar photo for local charity wearing only a raccoon hat while aiming a shotgun and displaying his 8th Air Force tattoo on his shoulder, and he occasionally showed up at downtown eateries in the middle of the night in pajamas and bathrobe to pick up coffee and a late-night snack.
    Sundlun was married five times and had four children. He was the father of WFSB news anchor Kara (Hewes) Sundlun and father-in-law to WFSB news anchor Dennis House. Sundlun admitted paternity after Hewes filed suit in 1993 alleging that Sundlun had fathered her in a relationship with her mother, Judith Vargo (Hewes).
    More Details Hide Details During the initial stages of the suit, Sundlun said that a payment to Judith Hewes of $35,000 in 1976 and Kara's adoption by Robert Hewes in the late 1970s had fully absolved him of financial responsibility in the matter. However, Sundlun accepted Kara Hewes fully as his daughter assuring that her college education was fully financed.
    He served a four-year term as a director of the National Security Education Board, appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993.
    More Details Hide Details Sundlun was a delegate to Democratic National Convention in 1964, 1968, 1980, 1988, and 2000, as well as to the Rhode Island Constitutional Convention of 1985. He was a member of the Providence School Board from 1984 to 1990. And from 1995 until his death, Sundlun had been teaching political science and Rhode Island history at the University of Rhode Island as Governor in Residence. From the 1970s to the late 1980s, Sundlun maintained a residence at Salamander Farm, a estate in The Plains, Virginia, which he named after his wartime identity with the French Underground. From 2004 until his death in 2011, he lived in Jamestown, Rhode Island with his wife Susan, a professional photographer and owner of East Greenwich Photo.
  • 1992
    Age 72
    In 1992, he aided in the establishment of the Quonset Air Museum at the Quonset State Airport in North Kingstown.
    More Details Hide Details He was also responsible for building the Jamestown Verrazzano Bridge, and the Jamestown Expressway, as well as arranging the financing of Providence Place Mall, and the relocation of the Woonasquatucket River to permit the construction of Waterplace Park and the Citizens Bank Building in downtown Providence. The Bruce Sundlun Terminal at T. F. Green Airport is named in his honor, and the airport now generates over $2 billion in economic activity annually.
  • 1991
    Age 71
    Only one hour after Sundlun's inauguration as governor on January 1, 1991, he announced the closure of 45 banks and credit unions in the state due to the collapse of their private insurer, the Rhode Island Share and Deposit Indemnity Corporation (RISDIC).
    More Details Hide Details Resolution of the crisis was through Sundlun's creation of the Rhode Island Depositor's Economic Protection Corporation (DEPCO) to manage the assets of closed banks and assure depositor repayment. Sundlun served as the chairman of the DEPCO Board of Directors and was primarily aided by his Director of Policy Sheldon Whitehouse. Despite considerable political resistance and the permanent closure of several institutions due to their failure to acquire Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or National Credit Union Administration insurance, all depositor funds were repaid in full plus interest, after two and a half years. During Sundlun's two terms as governor, he took particular interest in expanding Rhode Island as a destination for conventions and tourism by championing the building the Rhode Island Convention Center. Later, noting that a shortage of hotels in Providence hindered the city's development as a convention destination, he urged the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority to facilitate the building of a hotel that eventually became The Westin Providence. He created the Rhode Island Airport Corporation as an entity to revitalize and operate Rhode Island's state airports, and he was responsible for a complete redesign and rebuild of the passenger terminal and airport approach roads at T. F. Green Airport in Warwick.
  • 1986
    Age 66
    Sundlun ran twice but lost the Rhode Island governorship races in 1986 and 1988, but won it on his third try in 1990, defeating incumbent governor Edward D. DiPrete in a landslide victory 74%-26%, the largest majority for any Rhode Island governor at the time.
    More Details Hide Details He won reelection in 1992, but in 1994, he failed to win the Democratic primary against Myrth York, and she was defeated in the general election.
    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.
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  • 1981
    Age 61
    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.
    More Details Hide Details In 1986 after the Rockefeller family voted to not expand further into broadcast communications, a group of Outlet Communications executives, led by Sundlun and Dody Sinclair, executed a leveraged buyout of the company. Remaining as president throughout the entire merger and leveraged buyout sequence, Sundlun led the doubling of Outlet Communications holdings of licensed television broadcast stations from 4 to 11 across the country.
  • 1978
    Age 58
    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.
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  • 1976
    Age 56
    From 1976 to 1988, Sundlun was president and chief executive officer of The Outlet Company, a department store and broadcast communications company in Providence.
    More Details Hide Details In close association with Dody Sinclair, he led the diversification of the corporation by expanding its radio and television broadcast communications portfolio in the 1970s and 1980s until it had 147 retail stores and 11 radio and television stations.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details By the end of Sundlun's presidency, EJA was doing business with approximately 250 contract flying customers and logging more than three million miles per year. Sundlun remained on the Board of Directors of EJA until it was sold in 1984 to a group of investors led by Richard Santulli. The company is still in business with the name of NetJets as one of the holdings of Berkshire Hathaway.
  • 1972
    Age 52
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Tracy has a daughter named Felicity, Peter has a son named Hunter, and Kara has two children, Helena and Julian.
  • 1970
    Age 50
    On July 2, 1970 Sundlun was installed as EJA president, and he set out to rebuild the company.
    More Details Hide Details Under his leadership, the big jets were sold and he brought the company into the black. In the process, Sundlun, Robert Lee Scott, Jr. and Joseph Samuels ("Dody") Sinclair, grandson of one of the founders of The Outlet Company of Providence, borrowed $1.25 million from the Industrial Trust Company of Providence to buy out Penn Central's interest in EJA. That purchase was completed in 1972 as part of the Penn Central Railroad's bankruptcy proceedings.
  • 1964
    Age 44
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Shortly after incorporation in Ohio, Sundlun arranged financing for EJA by engineering a stock purchase by American Contract Company of Wilmington, Delaware, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Pennsylvania Railroad. EJA initially began operations in 1964 with a fleet of ten Learjet 23 aircraft. A few years afterward, a number of financial and legal improprieties were made by Lassiter including the purchase of Boeing 707 and Boeing 727 aircraft in violation of federal law prohibiting railroad ownership of large aircraft. An order by the Civil Aeronautics Board for EJA to either dispose of the large airplanes or for the Penn Central Railroad to divest its $22 million investment led to the near collapse of EJA in 1970. The company's creditors reacted by demanding the removal of Lassiter as president.
  • 1960
    Age 40
    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.
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  • 1954
    Age 34
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Sundlun was active as a businessman from the 1960s through the 1990s.
  • 1949
    Age 29
    In 1949, he was appointed by Attorney General J. Howard McGrath to serve as an Assistant U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C. and later served as a Special Assistant to the U.S. Attorney General.
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    From 1949 to 1972, Sundlun was a practicing attorney.
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  • 1948
    Age 28
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Later on November 27, 1979, he was awarded the Prime Minister's Medal by Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin for his services to the State of Israel. USAAF Command pilot
  • 1945
    Age 25
    Despite ending his active service in 1945, he remained in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and rose through the officer ranks until he retired as a Colonel in 1980 after serving with the 376th Troop Carrier Squadron at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts, and the 459th Troop Carrier Group, Medium at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland He was a member of the Rhode Island Commandery of the Military Order of Foreign Wars, a military society of commissioned officers who served during wartime and their descendants.
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    In August 1945, Sundlun attained the rank of captain, and left active service at the end of the war.
    More Details Hide Details He received the Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross, and Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters from the U.S. military, and in 1977 he received the Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur from the French government.
  • 1944
    Age 24
    Later under the orders of Dulles, he reentered France to act as a bombardment spotter for the Allied invasion of Marseille in mid-August 1944.
    More Details Hide Details After a brief service as a pilot of C-54 Skymaster cargo planes into Karachi, and over "The Hump" to Kunming after VE Day, he ferried bombers (B-24 Liberators and B-29 Superfortresses) from the U.S. mainland to Tinian in the Mariana Islands and into other bases in the Pacific Theater of Operations.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Before escaping into Switzerland, he was engaged with the Maquis in acts of sabotage near Belfort against German Army units under the command of Russian defector General Andrey Vlasov. Later, he was recruited by Allen Dulles to work out of the U.S. Embassy in Bern under the auspices of the Office of Strategic Services in the early preparations for Operation Sunrise.
  • 1943
    Age 23
    His plane the Damn Yankee was shot down over Nazi-occupied Jabbeke, Belgium on December 1, 1943 after the plane was damaged by flak during the bombing of Solingen, Germany, on his 13th mission.
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    During overseas active duty beginning in June 1943, Sundlun served as a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot in the England-based 545th Bombardment Squadron, 384th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force at Grafton-Underwood Air Base.
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  • 1941
    Age 21
    While still in college, Bruce Sundlun volunteered for service in the U.S. Army Air Forces Aviation Cadet Program on December 8, 1941, at Westover Field.
    More Details Hide Details He was trained as a four-engine bomber pilot at Maxwell Field in Alabama, after basic flight training at the USAAC Southeast Training Center at Orangeburg, South Carolina, the Greenville Army Air Field at Greenville, Mississippi, and George Field in Lawrenceville, Illinois.
  • 1938
    Age 18
    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.
    More Details Hide Details He attended Harvard Law School, graduating with a Doctor of Laws degree in 1949.
  • 1933
    Age 13
    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.
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  • 1920
    Age 0
    Sundlun was born in Providence on January 19, 1920, to Walter Irving Sundlun and Jennette "Jan" Zelda (Colitz) Sundlun.
    More Details Hide Details His grandparents were Lithuanian Jewish immigrants. Sundlun attended the Gordon School, Providence Classical High School and Tabor Academy.
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