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Charles Spofford

Charles Merville Spofford (November 17, 1902 – March 23, 1991) was an American lawyer who held posts in NATO and on the boards of numerous arts organizations.

Born in Saint Louis, Missouri, he was graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Yale University in 1924, where he was a member of Skull and Bones,[1] and Harvard Law School in 1928. He joined the New York law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell in 1930 and became a partner in 1940, retiring in 1973 after 33 years. He served in the US Army during World War II, rising to the rank of Brigadier General and earning the Purple Heart, Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Honor, Croix de Guerre and Order of the British Empire. From 1950 to 1952 he served in NATO as deputy US representative to the North Atlantic Council and later chair of the Council of Deputies and chair of the European Coordinating Committee. He proposed to John D. Rockefeller III what would become the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in 1956 and served as president of the Metropolitan Opera Association from 1946-1950.


  1. ^ "YALE 'TAP DAY' BRINGS HONORS TO JUNIORS: Many New Yorkers Among Those Chosen for Membership in Senior Societies". New York Times. 18 May 1923. p. 27. 
  • Pace, Eric (March 25, 1991). "Charles M. Spofford is Dead at 88; Furnished Idea for Lincoln Center". New York Times. 
  • Biography at Munzinger Archive (German)