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Laurence Wild

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Laurence Wild

Laurence Wild
30th Governor of American Samoa
In office
August 8, 1940 – June 5, 1942
Preceded by Jesse Wallace
Succeeded by John Gould Moyer
Personal details
Born May 1, 1890
Wilber, Nebraska
Died May 26, 1971(1971-05-26) (aged 81)
Alma mater United States Naval Academy
Occupation Naval officer
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Navy Seal United States Navy
Rank Captain
Laurence Wild
Sport(s) Basketball
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Navy
Playing career
1913 Navy
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Head coaching record
Overall 10-0

Laurence Wild (May 1, 1890 – May 26, 1971) was a United States Navy Captain, college basketball player and coach, and the 30th Governor of American Samoa from August 8, 1940 to June 5, 1942. Wild was born in Wilber, Nebraska,[1] and lived in the 4th Congressional District of Nebraska for much of his adult life.[2][3] He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1913; while there he played for the Navy Midshipmen basketball team, and was named an 1913 NCAA Basketball All-American.[4][5] He returned as head coach of the team for one year (1913–14), coaching for ten games and winning all of them.

While a Lieutenant Commander, Wild served as a communications officer for Submarine Squadron 11.[6] President of the United States Franklin Roosevelt recommended Wild for the rank of Captain in 1939.[2]

During his governorship, a more complicated political structure arose in American Samoa when Brigadier General Henry Louis Larsen of the United States Marine Corps became Military Governor and Island Commander of Tutuila. Though Larsen outranked him and commanded the military on the island, Wild held the senior position, and ultimately maintained control over the administration of all the islands in American Samoa.[1] On March 13, 1941, Wild ordered the construction of an airfield on the main island.[1] He died in Coronado, California on May 26, 1971.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Sorensen, Stan; Joseph Theroux (2007). "The Samoan Historical Calendar 1606-2007".  
  2. ^ a b  
  3. ^ Official Register of the United States 1.  
  4. ^ "Navy Men's Basketball: A Tradition of Excellence". NavySports.  
  5. ^ "Division I Consensus All-American Selections". Award Winners.  
  6. ^  
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