Stanton Griffis

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Stanton Griffis
United States Ambassador to Spain
In office
March 1, 1951 – January 28, 1952
PresidentHarry S. Truman
Preceded byPaul T. Culbertson (as chargé d'affaires)
Succeeded byLincoln MacVeagh
United States Ambassador to Argentina
In office
November 17, 1949 – September 23, 1950
PresidentHarry S. Truman
Preceded byJames Cabell Bruce
Succeeded byEllsworth Bunker
United States Ambassador to Egypt
In office
September 2, 1948 – March 18, 1949
PresidentHarry S. Truman
Preceded bySomerville Pinkney Tuck
Succeeded byJefferson Caffery
United States Ambassador to Poland
In office
July 9, 1947 – April 21, 1948
PresidentHarry S. Truman
Preceded byArthur Bliss Lane
Succeeded byWaldemar John Gallman
Personal details
Born(1887-05-02)May 2, 1887
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedAugust 29, 1974(1974-08-29) (aged 87)
Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.
Dorothea Nixon
(m. 1912; div. 1937)

Whitney Bourne
(m. 1939; div. 1939)

Elizabeth Blakemore
(m. 1973; died 1974)
Alma materCornell University

Stanton Griffis (May 2, 1887 – August 29, 1974) was an American businessman and diplomat.

Born in Boston, he earned a bachelor's degree from Cornell University in 1910. Griffis began his business career in 1919 after serving the Army General Staff with the rank of captain during World War I.[1][2] While with Hemphill, Noyes & Co., Griffis financed Adolf Kroch's acquisition of Brentano's in 1933.[3] He also helped the Atlas Corporation manage Madison Square Garden. Griffis was named a trustee of Cornell in 1930 and led Paramount Pictures from 1935 to 1942. He became involved with diplomacy and non-governmental organizations during World War II, serving as special envoy to several western European nations from 1942 to 1943, and directing the Motion Picture Bureau, a division of the Office of War Information, between 1943 and 1944. In a subsequent two-month stint as diplomatic representative, Griffis tried to dissuade Swedish manufacturers of ball bearings from exporting to Germany. Upon his return to the United States, Griffis was named leader of the American Red Cross in the Asia-Pacific. For aiding the World War II war effort, he received the Medal for Merit and the Medal of Freedom.[1][2]

Griffis was appointed the United States Ambassador to Poland in May 1947 by President Harry S. Truman. Griffis stepped down in April 1948 and was named ambassador to Egypt shortly thereafter, serving until March 1949. Truman named Griffis ambassador to Argentina later that year. He remained in that position until 1950, and succeeded chargé d'affaires Paul T. Culbertson as ambassador to Spain in 1951. Before leaving Spain in January 1952, Griffis was awarded the Knight of the Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III.[1][2]


Stanton Griffis was the second child born to William Elliot Griffis. He had an elder sister Lillian, and a younger brother John Elliot Griffis, a composer.[4] Stanton Griffis' marriage to Dorothea Nixon began in 1912 and ended in 1937, after a divorce. His second marriage, to actress Whitney Bourne, was his shortest. Griffis married Elizabeth Blakemore in 1973.[2] His son, Nixon Griffis, and daughter, Theodora Griffis Latouche, both worked for Hemphill, Noyes & Co. for a time. Theodora died of cancer at the age of 40, in 1956.[5] Stanton Griffis died in 1974 of pneumonia while being treated for burns and smoke inhalation at Lenox Hill Hospital.[2] After selling Brentano's to the Crowell-Collier Publishing Company, Nixon left his business career and became a conservationist. Nixon Griffis died in 1993, aged 76.[6]


  1. ^ a b c "Stanton Griffis Papers". Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Stanton Griffis, Noted Diplomat And Financier, Is Dead at 87". New York Times. August 30, 1974. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  3. ^ "Brentano's, Inc. Is Sold to Kroch, Chicago Dealer: $121,000 Bid Accepted by Creditors, Although N.Y. Firm Offered $9,000 More; Sale May Be Protested; Member of Bankrupt Book House to Continue With It". New York Herald Tribune. June 8, 1933. p. 19. Brentano's, Inc., the international book-selling firm, passed into the hands of Adolf Kroch, of Chicago, one of the largest book dealers in the country, at a bankruptcy sale yesterday. The Bretano family, it is understood, still be identified with the firm in executive capacities, and the business is to carry on in much the same way as in the past, according to Mr. Kroch. [T]he desire of the creditors, most of whom were publishers, to see the business go to another book-dealer who had been twenty-five years in the business and who had strong financial backing, had influenced his decision. This financial backing, it was learned later, came from Stanton Griffis, a partner in the firm Hemphill, Noyes & Co. Link via ProQuest.
  4. ^ DeKok, David (2011). The Epidemic. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 106. ISBN 9780762767618.
  5. ^ Pat, Liveright (January 30, 1956). "Mrs. LaTouche dead here at 40". New York Times. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  6. ^ Saxon, Wolfgang (December 21, 1993). "Nixon Griffis Dies; Conservationist, 76, Had Led Brentano's". New York Times. Retrieved November 19, 2017.