Wood, Leonard (1860–1927)

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Wood, Leonard (1860–1927)

Leonard Wood (b. 9 October 1860; d. 7 August 1927), commander of the First United States Volunteer Cavalry (the "Rough Riders") and U.S. military governor of Cuba (December 1899–May 1902). Born in Winchester, New Hampshire, and an 1884 graduate of Harvard Medical School, Wood became President McKinley's physician in 1895 and established close ties with Theodore Roosevelt. Wood was appointed military commander of both the city and province of Santiago before succeeding John Brooke as governor of Cuba. In 1910 Wood served briefly as a special ambassador to the Argentine Republic. Though Chief of Staff of the Army from 1910 to 1914, he was passed over by Woodrow Wilson to lead the American Expeditionary Force in France in favor of John J. Pershing. Wood was the principal challenger to Warren Harding for the Republican presidential nomination in 1920 and served as governor-general of the Philippines (1921–1927). He died in Boston.

See alsoPhilippines; Roosevelt, Theodore.


Hermann Hagedorn, Leonard Wood: A Biography, 2 vols. (1931), is the authorized treatment.

Jack C. Lane, Armed Progressive: General Leonard Wood (1978). See also David F. Healy, The United States in Cuba, 1898–1902: Generals, Politicians, and the Search for Policy (1963).

Additional Bibliography

McCallum, Jack Edward. Leonard Wood: Rough Rider, Surgeon, Architect of American Imperialism. New York: New York University Press, 1996.

                                   Linda K. Salvucci