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Published on: Monday, July 8, 2024 read more ...

Culture and the Arts 


Actors and Actresses

Fay Bainter (1893–1968) — A film and Broadway actress during the era of silent film, Fay Okell Bainter won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1938, for her role in "Jezebel." The same year, she was nominated as Best Actress for "White Banners" — becoming one of only 11 dual Academy Award nominees. Bainter has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She is buried with her husband, Lt. Cmdr. Reginald Venable, U.S. Navy. (Section 3, Grave 2456-1)

Constance Bennett (1904–1965) — One of the most popular and highest-paid actresses in Hollywood during the 1920s and 1930s, Constance Bennett starred in more than 50 films. Her best-known films include "What Price Hollywood?" (1932), "Topper" (1937) and "Topper Takes a Trip" (1939). Her fifth husband, to whom she was married for nearly 20 years before her death, was Brig. Gen. Theron John Coulter, U.S. Air Force. During their marriage, she entertained U.S. troops stationed in Europe. (Section 3, Grave 2231-A-RH)

John "Jackie" Cooper Jr., U.S. Navy (1922–2011) — Nicknamed "America's Boy," Jackie Cooper was a child star who became the youngest Oscar nominee for his role in the film "Skippy" (1931). As he reached adulthood, his acting career stalled, and so Cooper enlisted in the Navy. During World War II, he received the Legion of Merit for his service in the South Pacific. After the war, he played a Navy doctor in the television series "Hennesey" (1959-1962) and appeared in many other film and TV productions, including the "Superman" movies. Cooper remained active in the Naval Reserve, working in recruitment and public affairs, and ultimately attained the rank of captain. (Section 64, Grave 1903) 

Charles Durning, U.S. Army (1923–2012) — A character actor who appeared in films such as "The Sting" (1973), "Tootsie" (1982) and "To Be or Not to Be" (1984), Charles Durning was also a war hero. Acting, he said, helped him to process the psychological trauma of his World War II experiences. Durning was in the first wave of troops to land at Omaha Beach on D-Day, and his unit's sole survivor after a German ambush. He was wounded on three occasions, once in hand-to-hand combat. During the Battle of the Bulge, his company was captured and forced to march through the Malmedy Forest; in the "Malmedy massacre," German troops opened fire on the prisoners, and Durning was among only a few who escaped. In addition to three Purple Heart medals, Durning received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and, in 2008, the French Legion of Honor. He declined to discuss his war experiences until late in his life. (Section 66, Grave 127)

Lee Marvin, U.S. Marine Corps (1924–1987) — Lee Marvin acted in 56 films, most memorably as a villain or "tough guy" in Westerns and action movies. Although his namesake was Robert E. Lee, a distant relation, Marvin did not come from a military family; his father was a New York advertising executive, his mother a fashion editor. He joined the Marines at age 18 and served during World War II as a scout sniper in the Pacific. Hit in the spine by machine gun fire during the battle for Saipan, he spent a year in rehabilitation and received a Purple Heart, among other decorations. Marvin's notable films included "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" (1962), "The Killers" (1964), "The Dirty Dozen" (1967) and "Cat Ballou" (1965), for which he received an Academy Award. "I applied a lot of what I learned in the Marines to my films," he said in a 1985 interview. (Section 7A, Grave 176)

Audie Murphy, U.S. Army (1924–1971) — World War II Medal of Honor recipient Audie Murphy, one of the most decorated soldiers in U.S. history, appeared in more than 40 films — including "The Red Badge of Courage" (1951), "Gunsmoke" (1953) and "To Hell and Back" (1955, based on Murphy's own memoir of his war experiences). Growing up in poverty on a Texas farm, Murphy altered his birth certificate in order to enlist in the Army at age 17, a year before he was eligible. As a soldier of the 15th Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, he fought in campaigns in North Africa, Italy and France, earning 28 medals. Murphy returned home to a hero's welcome, and actor James Cagney convinced him to pursue a career in Hollywood. He tragically died in a plane crash in 1971. (Section 46, Grave 366-11)

Maureen O'Hara (Maureen FitzSimons Blair) (1920–2015) — The "legendary Maureen O'Hara," as the inscription on her headstone describes her, was an Irish-born actress known for playing strong women. In a career spanning the 1930s through 1990s, she appeared in several dozen films, most memorably starring in westerns opposite John Wayne. O'Hara is buried with her third husband, U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Charles F. Blair Jr. — a renowned aviator who, after retiring from the Air Force, was chief pilot for Pan American World Airways at the time of their marriage in 1968. After he died in a 1978 plane crash, she took over as president of his airline, Antilles Air Boats, becoming the first woman president of a U.S. airline. (Section 2, Grave 4966)


Writers and Journalists

Julius Ochs Adler, U.S. Army (1892–1955)— Journalist Julius Ochs Adler became general manager of the New York Times in 1935. The nephew of New York Times publisher Adolph Ochs, Adler was commissioned as an Army officer in 1917, after graduating from Princeton. During World War I, he commanded a battalion of the 306th Infantry Regiment, 77th Infantry Division, in numerous Western Front campaigns. He received the Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars, a Purple Heart, the French Croix de guerre and the Italian War Merit Cross. During World War II, Adler served as assistant division commander of the Army's 6th Infantry Division in the South Pacific. After the war, Adler returned to the New York Times but remained active in the Army Reserve. He retired from the Army in 1954, after 40 years of service, at the rank of major general. (Section 2, Grave 4957-A) 

Ludwig Bemelmans, U.S. Army (1898–1962) — Author and illustrator Ludwig Bemelmans is best known for his award-winning "Madeline" series of children's books, the first of which was published in 1939. Born in Austria to a German mother and a Belgian father, Bemelmans had a difficult childhood and emigrated to the United States to live with his uncle. He joined the U.S. Army in 1917 and rose to the rank of corporal, but was prohibited from serving in Europe on account of his German heritage. He chronicled his Army experiences in a memoir, "My War with the United States" (1937), one of nine books that he wrote for adults. Bemelmans was also an artist, and his "Central Park" mural still adorns Bemelmans Bar at New York's Carlyle Hotel. (Section 43, Grave 2618)

Samuel Dashiell Hammett, U.S. Army (1894–1961) — The name Dashiell Hammett is synonymous with the "hard-boiled" genre of detective fiction. Born Samuel Dashiell Hammett, he worked as a detective in his early twenties and later wrote numerous popular mystery novels, most famously "The Maltese Falcon" (1930) and "The Thin Man" (1931). Hammett enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1918 and served in the Motor Ambulance Corps, but spent most of World War I hospitalized for influenza and tuberculosis. Hammett enlisted again after Pearl Harbor, at the age of 48, and was stationed at a base in the Aleutian Islands. A vocal supporter of civil liberties and left-leaning causes, Hammett was blacklisted as a suspected Communist during the early Cold War, and he served six months in jail for refusing to divulge the names of those who helped fund an activist group that he led. (Section 12, Grave 508)

Putnam Welles Hangen, U.S. Army (1930–1970) — Journalist Putnam Welles Hangen, who spoke five languages, traveled the globe as a foreign correspondent for the New York Times and NBC. He also served as an information officer in the U.S. Army, at the rank of first lieutenant. In May 1970, Hangen was reporting for NBC in Cambodia when he and the members of his crew were ambushed, captured and executed by Khmer Rouge guerrillas. An Army excavation team discovered Hangen's remains in 1992, and he was interred at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. (Columbarium Court 3, #W-13-4)

Marguerite Higgins (1920–1966) — Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Marguerite Higgins covered World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. One of the first reporters in Korea after hostilities broke out in 1950, and the only woman reporter on the front lines, she won the Pulitzer for international reporting in 1951. From 1942 to 1963, she was an international correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune, interviewing world leaders and winning an award for her coverage of the liberation of Dachau. She also wrote a syndicated column for Newsday and several books. Higgins died in 1966 from a parasitic disease she contracted in Vietnam. She is buried with her second husband, Lt. Gen. William Evans Hall, U.S. Air Force. (Section 2, Grave 4705-B)

Juanita Hipps, U.S. Army (1912–1979) — During World War II, Lt. Col. Juanita Hipps served as a U.S. Army nurse in the Philippines and chronicled her experiences in a bestselling book, "I Served on Bataan" (1943). Reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel, Hipps also helped to establish the Army Air Corps flight nurse program. (Section 21, Grave 769-1)

William Franklin Knox, U.S. Army/Secretary of the Navy (1874–1944) — William Franklin "Frank" Knox was a journalist, publisher and politician who served in three wars. He fought with the Rough Riders in the Spanish-American War, served as an Army artillery officer in France during World War I and was secretary of the Navy during World War II. Knox began his career in journalism as a reporter for a small newspaper in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and worked his way up to becoming the publisher and part owner of the Chicago Daily News. In 1936, he ran for vice president on the Republican ticket, and in 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed him secretary of the Navy — a position he held until his death in 1944. Knox consistently advocated national preparedness and a two-ocean Navy, and under his leadership the Navy's size and strength expanded significantly. (Section 2, Grave 4961)   

Peter Lisagor, U.S. Army (1915–1976) — As Washington bureau chief of the Chicago Daily News from 1959 to 1976, Peter Lisagor was a well-known and respected journalist during this tumultuous era. He also authored a nationally syndicated column and appeared frequently on "Meet the Press" and other television news shows. A sergeant in the U.S. Army during World War II, he edited and wrote for the Army newspaper, Stars and Stripes. (Section 2, Grave 4968-B-RH) 

Virgil Ney, U.S. Army (1905–1979) — Col. Virgil Ney was a military historian and veteran of two wars. During World War II, he served as a battalion commander in the Philippines, and he remained after the war as a historian on the staff of Gen. Douglas MacArthur. In 1947, Ney was sent to Nanking, China to establish military history courses for the Nationalist army of Chiang Kai-Shek, and during the Korean War he created a psychological warfare school for the Korean army. He authored numerous books on military history and strategy, including "Notes on Guerrilla War: Principles and Practices" (1961), which was based in part on his experiences in Korea. (Section 34, Grave 859)

Joseph Medill Patterson, U.S. Army (1879–1946) — Born into a prominent Chicago publishing family, Joseph Medill Patterson founded the New York Daily News in 1919. Soon reaching a circulation of over one million, the New York Daily News became the largest-circulation tabloid in the United States. During World War I, Patterson served as a war correspondent and, after U.S. entrance into the war in 1917, a captain in the U.S. Army. (Section 6, Grave 5681-A)

Frank Reynolds (1923–1983) — An award-winning broadcast journalist, Frank Reynolds anchored ABC's "Evening News" from 1968 to 1970, and co-anchored "World News Tonight" from 1978 until his death in 1983. He was known for his straightforward, unemotional style. During World War II, Reynolds served as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army, receiving a Purple Heart. (Section 7A, Grave 180) 

Mary Roberts Rinehart (1876–1958) — One of the first female American war correspondents, Mary Roberts Rinehart reported from the Belgian front during World War I. She also wrote dozens of novels, plays and short stories. Sometimes called the "American Agatha Christie," she is best known for her mystery novels, including "The Circular Staircase" (1908), "The Bat" (1926) and "The Door" (1930). At the time of her death, Rinehart's books had sold more than 10 million copies. She is interred with her husband, Maj. Stanley Marshall Rinehart, U.S. Army. (Section 3, Grave 4269-B)

Kenneth Lewis Roberts, U.S. Army (1885–1957) — Kenneth Lewis Roberts wrote historical novels, most notably "Northwest Passage" (1937), about a soldier on the American frontier. He also worked as a correspondent for the Saturday Evening Post, and contributed to Life and other popular magazines. During World War I, he served as a captain in the intelligence section of the Army's Siberian Expeditionary Force. (Section 2, Grave 3426-2)

Merriman Smith (1913–1970) — As a White House correspondent for United Press International (UPI), Merriman Smith broke the story of President John F. Kennedy's assassination. On the day Kennedy was shot, Smith was in the front seat of the press pool car in the president's motorcade, and he began dictating into the car radiotelephone before other reporters had even realized what had happened. In 1964, Smith received a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the assassination, and President Lyndon B. Johnson honored him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1967. (Section 32, Grave 823)

Zitkála-Ša (1876–1938) — Zitkála-Ša (Gertrude Simmons Bonnin) was one of the most important American Indian activists and writers of the 20th century. A member of the Yankton Dakota Sioux, Zitkála-Ša was born on the Yankton Reservation in South Dakota in 1876. Her formative experiences at Indian boarding schools, where she was forced to adopt a European name, shaped her political and cultural consciousness. As an adult, she returned to the Yankton Reservation and began collecting and publishing traditional Dakota stories. While working as a clerk for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, she met and married U.S. Army Captain Raymond Talefase Bonnin, who was also of Dakota descent. In 1910, Zitkála-Ša wrote the libretto for the first American Indian opera, “The Sun Dance Opera,” based on a sacred Sioux ritual. She also frequently wrote about American Indian issues for high-profile national magazines. Her co-authored 1924 article in The Atlantic, "Oklahoma’s Poor Rich Indians, an Orgy of Graft and Exploitation of the Five Civilized Tribes, Legalized Robbery," led to federal investigations and legislative reforms that gave tribal governments greater sovereignty over their lands. In 1925, the Bonnins purchased a home in Arlington’s Lyon Park neighborhood — where a park was dedicated in her name in 2021. (Section 2, Grave 4703)


James Reese Europe, U.S. Army (1881–1919) — Fellow jazz great Eubie Blake called James Reese Europe "the Martin Luther King of music." The renowned bandleader and musician first studied violin as a child with the assistant director of the Marine Corps Band. By his twenties, Europe had become an acclaimed musician, performing at Carnegie Hall with the Clef Club, the all-Black orchestra he founded in 1910. When the United States entered World War I in 1917, Europe enlisted and was commissioned as a lieutenant with the 369th Infantry, the "Harlem Hellfighters." Europe was ordered to form a military band of the best musicians he could muster. Known as the Hell Fighters Band, the ensemble performed across continental Europe to great enthusiasm and praise. Europe credited the band's success to the fact that the musicians played only their own, original music — Black music. Tragically, Reese lost his life during a dispute with another band member in 1919.  (Section 2, Grave 3576) 

Louia Vaughn Jones, U.S. Army (1895–1965) — Sgt. Louia Vaughn Jones was an internationally renowned violinist and professor of music at Howard University. A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, he served in France during World War I as the assistant bandleader of the U.S. Army's all-Black 807th Pioneer Infantry band. Jones returned to France after the war and performed throughout Europe during the 1920s, including a command performance for the king and queen of Spain. In 1930, he accepted a position as head of the violin department at Howard, where he taught for the next 30 years. In 1935, Jones became the first African American to perform with the National Symphony Orchestra, although the concert took place at Howard due to Constitution Hall's discriminatory booking policies. (Section 43, Grave 511) 

Glenn Miller, U.S. Army (1904–1944) — Composer, trombonist and bandleader Glenn Miller has been called the father of modern military music. During World War II, Miller's Army Air Forces Band entertained more than a million troops. Missing in action since December 15, 1944, Miller was eligible for a memorial headstone in Arlington National Cemetery as a service member who died on active duty and whose remains were not recovered. His memorial headstone was placed in 1992, at the request of his daughter. (Memorial Section H, Site 464-A)

Frank Witchey, U.S. Army (1891–1945) — Staff Sergeant Frank Witchey, a World War I veteran, served as sergeant bugler for the U.S. Army’s Third Cavalry from 1917 until 1938. Described in an Army press release as the “old ‘maestro’ of the trumpet [and] the daddy of the bugle,’” he had the honor of sounding Taps at many notable ceremonies, including the funerals of the World War I Unknown Soldier (1921), President Woodrow Wilson (1924) and President William Howard Taft (1930). Born on a farm in Iula, Kansas, Witchey enlisted in the Army at age 18 and spent 30 years in uniform. After his retirement, he served as the national trumpeter for the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He is buried in Section 18, alongside many fellow World War I veterans. (Section 18, Grave 1912-C-1)


Moses Ezekiel (1844–1917) — The first Jewish cadet to attend Virginia Military Academy, Moses Ezekiel fought with the Confederate Army during the Civil War. However, he was more interested in an artistic career than a military one, and Robert E. Lee, a friend, encouraged him to pursue this calling. In 1869, Ezekiel moved to Europe to study art, and he soon gained international renown as a sculptor. Even as an expatriate, he continued to be a proud Southerner, and many of his works celebrated the Confederacy. Ezekiel's most famous sculpture is the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, which he titled "New South." After his death in his Rome studio in 1917, Ezekiel's remains were repatriated and buried under the monument he designed. (Section 16, Grave 0-E)

Vinnie Ream (1847–1914) — In 1866, sculptor Lavinia "Vinnie" Ream received a commission to design a sculpture of Abraham Lincoln for the U.S. Capitol Rotunda — becoming, at the age of 18, the youngest artist, and the first woman artist, to receive a commission from the U.S. government. The Lincoln statue was unveiled in 1871. Ream's artistic career stalled after she married U.S. Army Lt. Richard Hoxie in 1878; he reportedly did not approve of her working as a sculptor. Later in her life, however, she received commissions to create two additional works which now stand in the Capitol: a statue of Iowa Senator Samuel Jordan Kirkwood and a statue of Sequoyah, creator of the Cherokee alphabet. The bronze statue of Admiral David G. Farragut in Washington, D.C.'s Farragut Square is also a Ream sculpture. A replica of her statue of the Greek poet Sappho stands atop her gravesite. (Section 3, Grave 1876)


Pierre Charles L'Enfant, U.S. Army (1754–1825) — Pierre Charles L'Enfant was an architect, engineer and city planner who, most famously, designed the plan for Washington, D.C. Born in Paris, France in 1754, L'Enfant studied at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, but left in order to join the American Revolution, serving first with the French Colonial Troops and then as an officer in the Continental Army Corps of Engineers.  Following the Revolutionary War, he established his reputation as an architect with major commissions in Philadelphia and New York, and in 1791 President George Washington appointed him to design the "federal city" that would be the new nation's capital. The "L'Enfant Plan" (whose original copy resides at the Library of Congress) envisioned Washington, D.C. as a four-quadrant grid, with north-south and east-west streets crossed by grand diagonal avenues. Despite his later renown, L'Enfant died in poverty, and he was originally buried at a friend's farm in Prince George's County, Maryland. In 1909, at the urging of U.S. and French officials, Major L'Enfant's remains were exhumed and reinterred at Arlington National Cemetery. A monument erected in 1911 marks his resting place, on a hill overlooking the city that he designed. (Section 2, Grave S-3)

Lorimer Rich, U.S. Army (1891–1978) — Architect Lorimer Rich designed the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in collaboration with sculptor Thomas Hudson Jones. A veteran of World War I, Rich worked at the acclaimed New York architecture firm McKim, Mead & White before starting his own firm in 1928. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was one of his first major independent commissions; he and Jones won a competition in which more than 70 designs were submitted. Rich subsequently earned a reputation as one of the nation's leading architects of government buildings. He is buried a short distance from his best-known creation. (Section 48, Grave 288)