On This Day – Death of Chester W. Nimitz


Chester W. Nimitz (1885-1966) was a Fleet Admiral of the United States Navy. He was the leading U.S Navy authority on submarines, as well as Chief of the Navy’s Bureau of Navigation in 1939.

The German Texan was heavily influenced by his German-born paternal grandfather, Charles Henry Nimitz, a former seaman in the German Merchant Marine, who taught him, “the sea – like life itself – is a stern taskmaster. The best way to get along with either is to learn all you can, then do your best and don’t worry – especially about things over which you have no control”. He served in both the First World War and the Second, having been selected as Commander in Chief of the United States Pacific Fleet with the rank of Admiral, just ten days after the attack on Pearl Harbour.

After the war, Nimitz Nimitz served as a regent of the University of California during 1948–1956, where he had formerly been a faculty member as a professor of Naval Science for the NROTC (Naval Reserves Officers Training Corps) program. Nimitz was honored on 17 October 1964, by the University of California on Nimitz Day.

Nimitz suffered a stroke, complicated by pneumonia, in late 1965 and died on the evening of 20 February 1966. He is buried at Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California.