The William J. Clothier II Memorial Award

In 2003, The Pan American Association established the William J. Clothier II Memorial Award to celebrate the life and accomplishments of a very special member of the “Greatest Generation”.  Throughout his long life, Bill Clothier exemplified the best traits of the new world America:  stellar achievements, the competitive drive of a risk taker and a bold and gallant spirit.

Born in 1915, the grandson of Isaac Clothier, founder of the Strawbridge’s & Clothier department store chain, Bill Clothier made his mark on the national and international scene over more than seven decades of his larger-than-life existence.   Along the way, he pursued many passions, among them tennis, archeology and international politics.  Bill Clothier was a national singles champion and toured on the grass-court circuit from 1934 to 1938.  He and his father, William J. Clothier, won national father-son titles twice.

He served as an FBI special agent in Peru, Cuba and Chile during World War II.  From 1952 to 1979, Bill Clothier was a Central Intelligence Agency officer, gathering intelligence and aiding defectors from the Soviet bloc.  He received several awards for his service, including the Order of Merit for Distinguished Service from Peru.

Besides tennis, his other passion in life was Latin America.  He loved the language, the customs, and the people of Latin America. As a founding member, President and Board Member of The Pan American Association, he worked throughout his life to bring down the barriers that often separate people of the Western Hemisphere.  Until his death in October 2002, Bill Clothier remained a staunch and avid supporter of his beloved Pan American Association.

The William J. Clothier II Memorial Award is a tribute to the memory of this illustrious Philadelphian. The award is given to an individual who best exemplifies Bill Clothier’s dedication to public service and his commitment to the ideals of “Panamericanismo.”  Previous award recipients include President of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto, former Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter; Diego Castellanos, Ed.D;  Pedro A. Ramos, Esq.;  Kenneth I. Trujillo, Esq.; U.S. District Court Judge Juan Sanchez; Joseph Dominguez, Esq.; and Richard Negrin, Esq.


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