Jerry Wadsworth
Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission
In office
May 5, 1965 - October 31, 1969
PresidentLyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon
4th United States Ambassador to the United Nations
In office
September 8, 1960 – January 21, 1961
PresidentDwight D. Eisenhower
Preceded byHenry Cabot Lodge Jr.
Succeeded byAdlai Stevenson
Administrator of the Federal Civil Defense Administration
In office
November 15, 1952 – February 20, 1953
PresidentHarry S. Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Preceded byMillard F. Caldwell
Succeeded byVal Peterson
Personal details
Born(1905-06-12)June 12, 1905
Groveland, New York, U.S.
DiedMarch 13, 1984(1984-03-13) (aged 78)
Rochester, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Harty Griggs Tilton
EducationYale University (BA)

James Jeremiah "Jerry" Wadsworth (June 12, 1905 – March 13, 1984)[1] was an American politician and diplomat from New York.

Early life

A member of the prominent Genesee Valley Wadsworths, James J. Wadsworth was born in Groveland, New York on June 12, 1905. He was a direct descendant of pioneer William Wadsworth, a founder of Hartford, Connecticut.

His great-grandfather, James S. Wadsworth, was a Union general in the American Civil War, killed in the Battle of the Wilderness of 1864. Both his grandfather, James Wolcott Wadsworth, and his father, James Wolcott Wadsworth, Jr., represented New York in Congress. His other grandfather was United States Secretary of State John Hay. His sister Evelyn was married to William Stuart Symington; they were the parents of James Wadsworth Symington, his nephew.

Wadsworth graduated from Fay School in 1918,[2] from St. Mark's School, and from Yale University in 1927,[1] where he was a member of Skull and Bones.[3]


He was a member of the New York State Assembly (Livingston Co.) in 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939–40 and 1941. He resigned his seat in 1941.

He was medically unfit for World War II because of an injured leg, but aided the war effort as an assistant manager at the Curtiss-Wright Corporation plant in Buffalo, New York. In 1950, he became deputy administrator of the civil defense office for the National Security Resources Board, which drafted many of the civil defense plans that were prepared at the height of the Cold War.

From 1953 to 1960, Wadsworth was Deputy Chief of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations. He was appointed United States Ambassador to the United Nations by President Eisenhower, and he served from 1960 to 1961.

In 1965, President Johnson appointed Wadsworth to the Federal Communications Commission, and he served until 1970. Wadsworth left the FCC to join the American team negotiating a charter for the International Telecommunications Satellite Consortium (Intelsat).

Personal life

In 1927, Wadsworth was married to Harty Griggs Tilton (1906–1965), a daughter of Benjamin Trowbridge Tilton and Anna Billings (née Griggs) Tilton. Together, they were the parents of:[4]

He died in Rochester, New York on March 13, 1984. He was buried at Temple Hill Cemetery in Geneseo.[6]



  1. ^ a b "James J(eremiah) Wadsworth." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2002. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 27 Apr. 2011.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "YALE'S 'TAP DAY' CLOSE AT HAND: Four Senior Societies Will Pick Their New Members on the Campus on Thursday. SIXTY MEN TO BE CHOSEN Honors Usually Go to Juniors Who Have Rendered Special Service to Their Class". New York Times. May 9, 1926. p. 2.
  4. ^ Commerce, United States Congress Senate (1965). Adams, Bagge, Donner, Ross, Trowbridge and Wadsworth Nominations, Hearing, 89-1, April 13, 27, 1965. p. 32. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  5. ^ Baker, Conrad (February 15, 2016). "General James Wadsworth's House Opens for Weddings". Genesee Sun. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  6. ^ Treaster, Joseph B. (March 15, 1984). "James J. Wadsworth Dies at 78; Headed U.s. Delegation to U.n." The New York Times. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
New York State Assembly Preceded byGrant Stockweather Member of the New York Assemblyfrom Livingston County 1932–1941 Succeeded byJoseph W. Ward Political offices Preceded byMillard F. Caldwell Administrator of the Federal Civil Defense AdministrationActing 1952–1953 Succeeded byVal Peterson Diplomatic posts Preceded byHenry Cabot Lodge Jr. United States Ambassador to the United Nations 1960–1961 Succeeded byAdlai Stevenson