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Pete Dawkins
Pete Dawkins Life Vietnam.jpg
Date of birth March 8, 1938 (1938-03-08) (age 72)
Place of birth Royal Oak, Michigan
Position(s) Halfback
College Army
High school Bloomfield Hills, MI
Jersey number 24
Awards 1958 Heisman Trophy
1958 Maxwell Award
1975 College Football Hall of Fame
Honors 1958 All-American
College Football Hall of Fame

Peter Miller Dawkins (b. March 8, 1938, Royal Oak, Michigan) is a former Heisman Trophy winner, Rhodes Scholar, U.S. Army Brigadier General, and Republican candidate for Senate. He is the former vice chairman of Citigroup Private Bank.


Early life, education and athletic career

At age 11, he was successfully treated for polio[1] with aggressive physical therapy. After earning a scholarship, Dawkins entered Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. There he was an all-league quarterback, and captain of the baseball team. He graduated from Cranbrook in the class of 1955 and was accepted for admission by two major institutions of higher learning.

Although accepted to Yale University, Dawkins chose instead to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point. He won high honors, serving as Brigade Commander, President of his Class, Captain of the football team, and a "Star Man" in the top five percent of his class academically. A cadet is considered outstanding if he attains even one of these positions. Dawkins was the only cadet in history to hold all four at once. The young man was featured in Life Magazine and Reader's Digest. Even before his graduation, many predicted the bright young man would make General and perhaps even be Army Chief of Staff. Dawkins was selected for the Heisman Trophy [2] and the Maxwell Award as a halfback for Army in 1958, and an All American under coach Earl Blaik. He was also an Assistant Captain for the hockey team. At Oxford, he won three Blues in rugby and is credited with popularizing the overarm throw (originally called the "Yankee torpedo pass") into the lineout.[3]

Dawkins graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1959[4] with a very high class-standing, and was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. He earned a degree at Oxford University in 1962[4] in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) and later earned a M.P.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton.

Military career

After being commissioned from the academy and completing his tenure as a Rhodes Scholar, Dawkins finished Infantry School and Ranger School before being posted for duty in the 82nd Airborne Division. Furthermore, he received two Bronze Stars for Valor for his service in Vietnam, and held commands in the 7th Infantry Division and 101st Airborne. From 1971-1972, Dawkins, while a Lieutenant Colonel, was the commander of the 1st Battalion 23rd Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Hovey Korea. In addition to being an instructor at the academy, he was a White House Fellow in the 1973-1974 class. During that time, he was chosen to work on a task force, charged with changing the US Army into an all-volunteer force.

At the conclusion of his 24-year career in the Army, Dawkins retired with the rank of Brigadier General. Following his retirement from the Army, Dawkins took up a position as a partner in the Wall Street firm Lehman Brothers [5], later becoming vice-chairman of Bain and Company. In 1991, he moved on to become chairman and CEO of Primerica Financial Services, Inc..

Political career

In 1988, he unsuccessfully challenged U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg for his seat in the United States Senate from New Jersey. The race was notable for the negative tone that emerged from both sides and Lautenberg's criticism of Dawkins's lack of roots in the state. Dawkins lost by an 8 percent margin.


Electoral history

  • 1988 Race for U.S. Senate

See also


Party political offices
Preceded by
Millicent Fenwick
Republican Nominee for the U.S. Senate (Class 1) from New Jersey
Succeeded by
Chuck Haytaian
Sporting positions
Preceded by
John David Crow
Heisman Trophy Winner
Succeeded by
Billy Cannon


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