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Remembering Carlo D’Este ’58

It is with deep regret that I inform you of the death of LTC Carlo D’Este, USA (Ret.), Class of 1958. Married to Shirley D’Este, and father of four, Carlo passed away on Sunday, November 22nd, at Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Carlo is remembered for his impassioned service and longstanding support to Norwich University. Carlo served in the U.S. Army from 1958 to 1978 — including overseas tours of duty in Vietnam, Germany, and England — and retired as a lieutenant colonel. He graduated magna cum laude from Norwich University with a Bachelor of Arts in government in 1958, was an Honor Graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1974 and earned a master's degree from the University of Richmond in 1974. In 1992, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Norwich University.

“As a Norwich alumnus and as one of the founders of both the William E. Colby Award and Norwich University Military Writers’ Symposium, Carlo D’Este has left a tremendous and positive legacy at Norwich,” said R. Pierce Reid ’14, Chairman of the Norwich Military Writers’ Symposium Associates. “While we are saddened by his passing, his contributions, especially his passion for promoting world-class military history research and writing, will continue to echo through Norwich, and the history community at large, for years to come.”

Since 1978, Carlo enjoyed a second career as a military historian, biographer, lecturer, consultant, and book reviewer for The New York TImes, The Washington Post and other publications. He wrote four books about World War II, biographies of U.S. Army General George S. Patton, eventual President Dwight Eisenhower, and the military life of Sir Winston Churchill.

In addition to a number of television appearances on C-SPAN, Fox News Channel, and the History Channel, he lectured at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, the National War College, and the U.S. Army War College. He advised President Bill Clinton for his 1994 visit to Italy, England, and Normandy to commemorate the 50th anniversary of World War II. From 1994 to 1997, Carlo was a member of the Department of the Army Historical Advisory Committee.

Carlo co-founded and served as executive director of the William E. Colby Military Writers’ Symposium at Norwich University, later renamed the Norwich University Military Writers’ Symposium; he also served on the Norwich Board of Fellows, and as president of the Friends of the Norwich University Kreitzberg Library, later as president emeritus. He was a Board of Fellows Medallion Recipient in 2008.

Carlo was a member of Legacy Committee of the Eisenhower Memorial Commission in 2002-03, was a consulting historian, contributor and member of the advisory board of Armchair General magazine, and was a long-serving member of the Mashpee Public Library Board of Trustees.

“Carlo was a giant in military history and his excellent research reverberated across every segment of our society.” Peace & War Center Director, Professor Travis Morris

Carlo was a giant in military history and his excellent research reverberated across every segment of our society,” said NUMWS and Peace & War Center Director, Professor Travis Morris. “I had the distinct privilege of working with him on Norwich University’s Military Writers’ Symposium and Colby Award. His love of Norwich and knowledge always inspired me. I am saddened by our loss and know that his legacy will continue.”

He was the 2010 winner of the Andrew J. Goodpaster Prize awarded by the American Veterans Center, and in October 2011 received the Pritzker Military Library lifetime achievement award for military writing.

The Carlo D’Este ’58 Military History Award, a $1,000 award created in D’Este’s honor, is awarded annually at the Military Writers’ Symposium to an outstanding graduating undergraduate senior who is pursuing a history or military history major.

Mark C. Anarumo, PhD
Col, USAF (Ret.)
President, Norwich University

RELATED ARTICLE: Carlo D’Este, Norwich graduate and Military Writers’ Symposium co-founder, dies at age 84

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