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Frank, Benis M. 1925-2007 (Benis Morton Frank)

Frank, Benis M. 1925-2007 (Benis Morton Frank)


See index for CA sketch: Born February 21, 1925, in Amsterdam, NY; died of congestive heart failure, March 10, 2007, in Cheverly, MD. Frank was a former U.S. Marine who later served as a civilian historian for the corps' history and museums division. He was in the Marines during World War II, seeing action at Okinawa and Peleliu, and then continued to serve in the Reserves. Frank returned to active duty for the Korean War, where he was a battalion intelligence officer; he attained the rank of captain before resigning in 1960. Meanwhile, he studied history at the University of Connecticut, where he earned an A.B. in 1949, and attended graduate school at Clark University. Frank worked for various companies during the 1950s, including as a department store assistant buyer, an assistant manager for Franklin Simon in Connecticut, and as a salesman for the Central States Paper & Bag Company in New York City. After teaching history for a year at King School in Stamford, Connecticut, he found satisfying work as historian for the U.S. Marine Corps in Washington, DC. Frank worked here from 1961 to 1997, heading the history section and founding the Marines' oral history program. He was named chief historian in 1991. An active researcher and writer, he contributed to encyclopedias and dictionaries on military history and was managing editor of Military Collector & Historian, the journal of the Company of Military Historians for which he also served as governor. Frank was the author of several books, including A Brief History of the 3d Marines (1962; revised edition, 1970), Halsey (1973), and U.S. Marines in Lebanon, 1982-1984 (1987). He was awarded the Meritorious Civilian Service Award for his contributions to the Marines, also receiving the Forrest C. Pogue award for excellence in oral history mid-Atlantic region in 1981.



Los Angeles Times, March 19, 2007, p. B7.

Washington Post, March 15, 2007, p. B8.

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