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Arthur MacArthur IV

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Arthur MacArthur IV
The MacArthur family standing at the top of the stairs leading from a passenger aircraft. Douglas MacArthur stands behind while his wife Jean and son Arthur wave to those below.
Arthur MacArthur (front right) waves to a crowd along with his mother, Jean MacArthur, returning to the Philippines for a visit in 1950. His father, General Douglas MacArthur is in the rear.
BornFebruary 21, 1938 (1938-02-21) (age 81)
Parent(s)Douglas MacArthur
Jean MacArthur

Arthur MacArthur IV (born February 21, 1938) is the only child of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur and Jean MacArthur. He is also the grandson of Lieutenant General Arthur MacArthur, Jr.

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Early life

Arthur MacArthur IV's early life was chronicled extensively in the press. His early childhood was spent around the penthouse built for his father atop the Manila Hotel.[1] Arthur's father would play with him every morning before work.[2] After the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, Arthur, his mother and his nanny were forced to relocate from the Manila Hotel as bombs fell nearby.[2]:223 They first joined Arthur's father on Corregidor Island and then were evacuated by PT boat and B-17 Flying Fortress to Brisbane, Australia.[2]:268[3] The United Press agency reported in March 1942 on the boy's escape with his family and that he was a "real MacArthur, a soldier like his father and grandfather".[4] Life Magazine made Arthur their cover story in August 1942 and reported on such matters as the boy's life in Australia, his "curiously mixed-up accent", his kindergarten routine, and his new tricycle.[5] After the Japanese surrender in 1945, the family moved to Tokyo, from where the United Press agency reported in 1946 that eight-year-old Arthur MacArthur was considered a "musical prodigy".[6] Arthur's first meeting with Emperor Hirohito of Japan's sons, the future Emperor Akihito and Prince Masahito in September 1949, at a swimming meet, was covered by Sir Keith Murdoch's Adelaide News under the headline "MacArthur's son and Jap. princes".[7]

Even trivial childhood matters could find their way into the newspapers. When Arthur broke his arm ice skating in Tokyo in May 1947, the Australian Associated Press reported that '[d]octors said he behaved "like a soldier"'.[8]

Not only doctors assumed that Arthur had the makings of a soldier. Perhaps inevitably, as he was the son and grandson of Army generals, it was assumed by soldiers, newspaper correspondents, and even by his mother that Arthur would be a soldier. At Arthur's christening his mother was asked whether Arthur would attend the United States Military Academy at West Point and replied "how can he help it, having such a father?"[2]:178 The troops on Corregidor called four-year-old Arthur "the Sergeant".[2]:229 Inevitably, Douglas MacArthur also wished for a military career for his son, writing "I hope that God will let me live to see the day that young Arthur MacArthur is sworn in on The Plain as a plebe at West Point".[2]:517

Arrival in the United States

Upon Douglas MacArthur's dismissal by President Truman, MacArthur flew home with his family on April 18, 1951. Arthur, then aged 13, had never been to the United States.[9]

The family's return to the United States brought intense media scrutiny of the General's son as well as the father. Douglas's selection as "Father of the Year" in June 1942 by the National Father's Day Committee, together with his reputation for being a particularly devoted father, drew attention to his only son.[10][11][12] While newspapers' political correspondents focused on Douglas MacArthur's testimony before the Senate in Washington in May 1951, the general press sought out human interest stories connected to Arthur, his mother and his Chinese nanny, Ah Cheu.[13] The New York Times ran a front-page story covering young MacArthur's first visit to a Major League Baseball game, as "guest of Horace Stoneham, owner of the Giants."[14] Only two days later the New York Times ran another story (this time only on page 5) covering Arthur's first visit to a circus, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at Madison Square Garden.[15] The article was subheadlined "Two Notables Meet At The Garden" above the photo caption "The 13-year-old son of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur and Felix Adler, King of the clowns." The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where the family had taken up residence, was besieged by press and photographers. The Scripps's Newspaper Enterprise Association syndicate reported that "Arthur is the object of staring eyes and photographers' flash-bulbs and reporters' questions."[16]

The popular interest continued. In May 1951 the United Press syndicate ran a story reporting that young MacArthur was to receive a "100-year old peace pipe as a gift" from the people of Havre, Montana.[17]

Not all the attention was flattering. The Associated Press reported the same year that Arthur MacArthur was "'Gifted,' But Gift Is Not Spelling." The article went on to quote his tutor saying that the "outstanding talent of 13-year-old Arthur MacArthur is a gift for music, but spelling is his weakness". Mrs. Phillis Gibbons said that Arthur MacArthur "is just an ordinary American boy, like your son or mine. He is quite intelligent but he can't spell – what American boy can?" [18]

Mrs. Gibbons ("'Gibby', Tutor of Young Mac" according to a front-page headline in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle) was summoned from Tokyo to tutor Arthur for some time.[19][19][20] Thereafter, Arthur attended New York's Browning School until he entered Columbia University[3] as a freshman in 1956. The New York Times reported Arthur MacArthur's admission along with that of the son of MacKinlay Kantor, the Pulitzer Prize winning author.[21]

Interest in Arthur MacArthur wasn't limited to the press. Hope Cooke, a contemporary in New York who later became Queen of Sikkim, commented in her autobiography that "all the parents want[ed] their daughters to dance with Arthur MacArthur, the general's son... when he comes to church with his parents, there is always a huge crowd on the steps to watch them go by."[22]

MacArthur graduated from Columbia University in 1961, having majored in English.[2]:702,[3][12] The only non-prizewinning student mentioned by name in the New York Times was Arthur MacArthur.[23] The New York Times pointed out that MacArthur's parents sat in the box of the president of the university, Dr. Grayson L. Kirk.

Later life

After graduation, MacArthur avoided the public spotlight. The United Press agency reported in 1964 that, since graduating, "the tall handsome young man ... has made few public appearances."[20] The Associated Press reported the same year that "MacArthur's Son Shuns Military Life" but pointed out that "his childhood had been filled with war."[3]

Arthur MacArthur reportedly lives under an assumed name.[24] He remains active[citation needed] in the General Douglas MacArthur Foundation and with the Douglas MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, Virginia, where his parents are interred.

Until 2004, MacArthur apparently lived in the Mayflower Hotel on New York's Upper West Side. Forbes magazine tracked him down in 2005 but MacArthur "declined to be interviewed".[25] In 2014, MacArthur was featured in a New York Post article that discussed his long and secret residency of the hotel.[26] Michael Gross's 2014 book, House of Outrageous Fortune: Fifteen Central Park West, also devoted a page to the mystery of MacArthur's life and assumed name.[24] When the hotel was demolished, he moved to Greenwich Village.[27]


  1. ^ Day Romulo, Beth. "MacArthur At Home in the Philippines; excerpted from the book "The Manila Hotel"; The Heart and Memory of a City". National Media Production Center. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved 2015-02-25.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Manchester, William (May 12, 2008). American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880 – 1964. Little, Brown. p. 179. ISBN 978-0316024747. Retrieved 2015-02-15.
  3. ^ a b c d "MacArthur's Son Shuns Military Life". Associated Press. New York. April 9, 1964. Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  4. ^ "Like MacArthur, Like Son – On the Firing Line at 4". United Press. March 18, 1942. Retrieved 2015-02-15.
  5. ^ Time Inc (3 August 1942). The General's Son. Time Inc. p. 66. ISSN 0024-3019. Cover of Life Magazine
  6. ^ "MacArthur's Son Said To Be Musical Prodigy". United Press. April 8, 1946. Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  7. ^ "MacArthur's son and Jap. princes". The News (Adelaide). Tokyo. September 28, 1949. Retrieved 2015-02-15.
  8. ^ "Gen MacArthur's Son Breaks Arm". Australian Associated Press. Tokio. June 2, 1947. Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  9. ^ James, D. Clayton (1985). Volume 3, Triumph and Disaster 1945–1964. The Years of MacArthur. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. p. 611. ISBN 0-395-36004-8. OCLC 36211311.
  10. ^ "About the Father of the Year Awards". The Father's Day / Mother's Day Council, Inc. Retrieved 2015-02-24.
  11. ^ Imparato, Edward T. (2000). General MacArthur Speeches and Reports 1908–1964. Nashville, Tennessee: Turner Publishing. p. 127. ISBN 978-1563115899.
  12. ^ a b Screiber, Flora Rheta (January 22, 1961). "General MacArthur - Family Man". Tuscaloosa News. Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Retrieved 2015-02-24.
  13. ^ "MacArthur Likens Wake File To a Report on Bunker Hill; M'ARTHUR SCOFFS AT REPORT ON WAKE" (PDF). The New York Times. New York. May 3, 1951. Retrieved 2015-02-24.
  14. ^ Johnston, Richard J. H. (April 22, 1951). "Arthur MacArthur Has His Day—At Ball Game" (PDF). The New York Times. New York. Retrieved 2015-02-13. Outwardly unaffected by his first major league baseball game, Arthur MacArthur, 13-year-old son of the five-star general, yesterday saw his team—the Giants --trounced by the Brooklyn Dodgers 7 to 3.
  15. ^ "Arthur M'Arthur Sees First Circus. Two Notables Meet At The Garden" (PDF). The New York Times. New York. April 24, 1951. p. 5. Retrieved 2015-02-13. A 13-year-old American boy saw the Big Show—Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus—for the first time yesterday afternoon. In fact, it was his first circus.
  16. ^ Kleiner, Richard (May 24, 1951). "Arthur MacArthur, Son of a Hero". Newspaper Enterprise Association. Cleveland, Ohio. Retrieved 2015-02-24.
  17. ^ "Gift for MacArthur's Son" (PDF). The New York Times. New York. May 9, 1951. Retrieved 2015-02-13.
  18. ^ "MacArthur's Son 'Gifted,' But Gift Is Not Spelling" (PDF). The Associated Press. Oakland, Calif. May 15, 1951. Retrieved 2015-02-13.
  19. ^ a b "'Gibby', Tutor of Young Mac, Joins Him Here". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. New York. May 9, 1951. p. 1. Retrieved 2015-02-15.
  20. ^ a b "MacArthur Family Shares Quiet Life". United Press International. April 7, 1964. Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  21. ^ "Columbia Greeting Incoming Freshmen" (PDF). The New York Times. New York. September 16, 1956. Retrieved 2015-02-13. Among the new students are Thomas MacKinlay Kantor, son of MacKinlay Kantor, Pulitzer Prize winning author, and Arthur MacArthur, son of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur.
  22. ^ Cooke, Hope (1981). Time Change: an autobiography. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 38. ISBN 0-671-41225-6.
  23. ^ "Columbia Grants Degrees To 5,809. U.S. Needs Wisdom More Than Power, Kirk Says" (PDF). The New York Times. New York. June 7, 1961. Retrieved 2015-02-13. Among the 589 Columbia College graduates who received the Bachelor of Arts degree was Arthur MacArthur, 22-year-old son of General of the Army and Mrs. Douglas MacArthur.
  24. ^ a b Gross, Michael (2014-03-11). House of Outrageous Fortune: Fifteen Central Park West, the World’s Most Powerful Address. Simon and Schuster. pp. 164–165. ISBN 978-1451666199. Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  25. ^ W.P.B. (2005-09-15). "Old Apartments Fade Away". Forbes magazine. New York. Retrieved 2015-02-12.
  26. ^ Gross, Michael (2014-03-02). "Hotel hermit got $17M to make way for 15 Central Park West". New York Post. New York. Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  27. ^ Nye, James (2 March 2014). "Hermits strike it rich! How unemployed man, 73, was paid $17 million to leave rent-controlled Manhattan apartment". Daily Mail.

External links

This page was last edited on 15 April 2019, at 20:50
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