Herbert Claiborne Pell Edit Profile
Student Harvard University, 1902-1905, Columbia University, 1907-1908.
Mr. Pell was an internationalist and progressive among a class of economic conservatives and geopolitical isolationists. Mr. Pell had extensive first-hand experience in international affairs, having lived many years in Europe. He also served on the advisory committee of Yenching University, later merged with Peking University.
Born in New York City, he was a great-grandson of John Francis Hamtramck Claiborne, and great-great-grandnephew of William Charles Cole Claiborne and Nathaniel Herbert Claiborne. Through his mother, Katherine Lorillard Kernochan, he inherited a share of the Lorillard fortune. He was educated at Pomfret School (Connecticut), Harvard University, and Columbia University, but did not complete a degree.
He is the father of U.S. Senator Claiborne de Borda Pell and great-grandfather of Herbert Claiborne Pell IV.
He was elected as a Democrat to the Sixty-sixth Congress (March 4, 1919 – March 3, 1921) and was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1920 to the Sixty-seventh Congress. He was chairman of the Democratic State committee from 1921 to 1926 and a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1924. Pell was an occasional lecturer at Columbia University, Harvard University, and other institutions of learning, and in 1936 was vice chairman of the Democratic National Campaign Committee.
Pell was appointed from Rhode Island as Minister to Portugal, holding that office from May 27, 1937, until February 11, 1941, when he was appointed Minister to Hungary. He was serving in Budapest on December 13, 1941 when he received the Hungarian declaration of war against the United States. He closed the legation in Budapest and returned to the U.S. on January 16, 1942 and submitted his resignation on November 30, 1942.
He was United States representative on the United Nations War Crimes Commission from August 1943 to January 1945. He died in July 17, 1961 in Munich, Germany at the age of 77. His ashes were committed to the ocean off Beavertail in Jamestown, Rhode Island.
The Herbert Pell Cup in yachting is named for Pell.
Member of the Progressive County Committee, Orange County, New York, 1912-1914. Member 66th Congress (1919-1921), 17th New York District. Member Constitutional League (president), Societe de l’Histoire de France, Societe de l’Histoire de Paris, Societe d’Histoire Generale et d’Histoire Diplomatique, Societe des Bibliophiles (Brussels), Institute of Coimbra (Portugal), Delta Phi.
Clubs: Knickerbocker (New York City). Member advisory council Yenching University, Peiping, China. Member of advisory council Rhode Island Department of Labor.
Married Matilda Bigelow, November 3, 1915.; married second, Olive Bigelow, June 18, 1927.
Grand Officer of Couronne de Chene of Luxembourg. Officer of the Order of Merit (Italian Republic).