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John A. Hottell III Chair of Character

John A. Hottell

December 24, 1942 – July 7, 1970
1964 Howitzer entry about Cadet John Hottell
The rare, raw qualities of athletic prowess and brilliance, which seemed to be a congenital characteristic of Alex, required only the catalyst of maturity to catapult him to success. An incessant source of wonder to his less gifted contemporaries, the hallmark of this man of Napoleonic stature is his incisive intellect, his individuality and his unsurpassable tenacity.
USMA 1964 Howitzer
Each and every American death in Vietnam was a tragedy in its own right. If there were a way to classify some as more tragic than others, Alex Hottell's loss would probably be at or near the top of the list. His short, twenty-seven-year life was a series of successes that indicted a potential that would have propelled him to the top level in any walk of life. In Alex's case, it was the army, to which he was totally committed. His short-term plan was to return from Vietnam and teach in the Department of Social Sciences at West Point. In the long term, he undoubtedly would have been one of the army's key leaders. In the words of his classmate and good friend, Waldo Freeman (At the time of this writing, Major General Freeman is the U.S. Army commander in Japan.), Alex "had all the marks of a senior general officer."
John Alexander Hottell III was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on Christmas Eve, 1942, the son of John II, a career army officer, and his wife, Helen. Like Clair Thurston, Bob Serio, and Akos Szekely, Alex was an only child who was always a source of pride and joy for his parents. And, like the other army brats in the class, he attended schools in various corners of the world. As a youngster Alex enjoyed the army life and what it had to offer in the way of educational, patriotic, and leadership opportunities, so it was no surprise that he chose to attend West Point.
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