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American Legion National Convention

National Commander Franklin D'Olier salutes the colors as they pass in the parade at the opening of the 1920 American Legion National Convention in Cleveland with Col. John R. McQuigg, Vice Adm. W. A. Grant of the British Navy, and Maj. Gen. Leonard Wood.

Portrait of Franklin D'Olier

D'Olier pictured after his appointment as president of Prudential Insurance.

After his tenure as national commander, D’Olier returned to run his family business, Franklin D’Olier & Co., where he worked until his appointment as the vice president of Prudential Insurance in 1926. 

D’Olier felt his work with Prudential was similar to his work with the Legion, believing both had the potential to be stabilizing forces in American society. The American Legion Monthly reported in 1932 that D’Olier was “trying to do his bit helping the average man attain economic and financial independence by means of old-fashioned and well-tested principles of industry and thrift”.

He became Prudential’s president in 1938, and after his retirement in 1946 continued as a member of their board of directors until his death. 

 

Former American Legion head sails for West Indies

Past National Commander D'Olier sails for the West Indies in 1929.

The D’Oliers enjoyed their family and their many friends, frequently entertaining guests at their Morristown, NJ home near Prudential’s offices. 

D’Olier and his wife also enjoyed many travels around the world after his time as national commander, leaving on the long-postponed vacation to China and Japan almost as soon as he completed his year in office.

D’Olier maintained his interest in The American Legion throughout his life, serving on several national committees in addition to his role as a non-voting member of the National Executive Committee.

February 1921 National Executive Committee meeting

Group photo of National Commander Warren Atherton with prominent Legionnaires.

Past National Commander D'Olier (far left) pictured with prominent Legionnaires and 1943-1944 National Commander Warren H. Atherton (second from right).

Though he preferred to allow others to take active roles in guiding the young organization, he gladly accepted any job he was asked to do.

D’Olier never sought election to public office and refused several appointments, explaining to National Historian Thomas Owen in 1934 that “having been the first national commander, I was particularly anxious to show that the job should not be used as a stepping stone for political preferment and have always declined to run for any public office.”

Funeral services for President Woodrow Wilson

Franklin D'Olier (second from left) with the American Legion delegation at funeral services for President Woodrow Wilson, Feb. 23, 1924.

Other members of the delegation were Thomas Miller, National Vice Commander John R. Quinn, H. Nelson Jackson of Vermont, and 1923-1924 National Commander James A. Drain.