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Andrew E. Gibson papers

Identifier: MSC-242

Scope and Contents

The collection is divided into twenty-two series and covers the years 1944-2000. The greater part of the collection focuses on Gibson's position as Maritime Administrator and Assistant Secretary of Maritime Affairs in the Department of Commerce, 1968-1972, although there is significant material on his executive positions in the shipping industry.


  • Creation: 1890-2000
  • Creation: Majority of material found within ( 1944-2000)


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Access is open to all researchers, unless otherwise specified.

Conditions Governing Use

Material in this collection is in the public domain, unless otherwise noted.

Biographical Note

Andrew E. Gibson was born on February 19, 1922, in New York. He graduated from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, then located in Boston, in 1943 and joined the United States Lines where he was CO of the Liberty Ship SS Leonidas Merritt in the Pacific from 1944 to 1946.

When the war ended, Gibson took a job with the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company in Fall River, Massachusetts. He enrolled in Brown University in 1948 where he majored in economics and graduated in 1951. During the Korean War, he was controller of the budget for the Military Sea Transport Service in Brooklyn, New York.

In 1953, he joined the Grace Line where he rose from assistant treasurer to senior vice president in charge of operations. In 1967, he moved to the Diebold Group, a management consulting firm in New York City. He was nominated as Maritime Administrator by President Richard M. Nixon in 1969 and served in that capacity, as well as assistant secretary for Maritime Affairs in the Department of Commerce until 1972. He was instrumental in drafting legislation for the Merchant Marine Act of 1970 and successfully negotiated the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Maritime Agreement of 1972. He also served as assistant secretary for domestic and international business. Later, he was appointed to the Panama Canal Commission and as ambassador to the International Labor Organization.

After leaving government service, Gibson was president of Interstate Oil Transportation Company, 1973-1974, president of Maher Terminals, Inc., 1975-1977, president of Delta Steamship Lines, 1979-1982, and chairman of American Automar, 1983-1988. He was an adjunct faculty member at the University of South Carolina from 1981-1988.

Gibson earned a masters degree in business administration from New York University in 1959 and attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University in 1975. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Wales, Cardiff in 1994. He held the Emory Land Chair of Maritime Affairs at the Naval War College from 1988-1992 in the Department of National Security and Decision Making and was a visiting fellow at the College from 1992 through 2001.

His publications include articles in The Naval Institute Proceedings, American Shipper, The Naval War College Review, and a book based on his dissertation entitled Abandoned Ocean: A History of U.S. Maritime Policy published by the University of South Carolina Press in 2000. He received the Robert M. Thomson Award from the Navy League and the Land Medal from the Society of Naval Architects, both in 1972.

Gibson died on July 8, 2001, at his home in Short Hills, New Jersey. He is survived by three sons and two daughters from his first marriage to Jane Mork. His second wife, Judith Spofford Gibson of Short Hills, survives him as well.


8 Linear Feet


These papers document and focus on Andrew E. Gibson's career as a government official, corporate executive, and professor at the Naval War College. The collection consists of many elements including but not limited to: correspondence, writings, speeches, deck files, books, proposals, critiques, legislation testimony and charts.


The collection is arranged in series as follows:

Acquisitions Information

The papers of Andrew E. Gibson were presented to the Naval War College Foundation for deposit in the Naval Historical Collection by his wife, Mrs. Judith Gibson, in May and August 2005.

Guide to the Andrew E. Gibson Papers1890-2000 (bulk 1944-2000)
Finding aid prepared by Evelyn M. Cherpak, Ph.D.
2011 July 19
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Naval War College Archives Repository

US Naval War College
686 Cushing Rd
Newport RI 02841 US