National Park Service - Abbie Rowe. Courtesy Truman Library
In recognition of his outstanding service, President
Truman awarded Sidney W. Souers the Distinguished
Service Medal in 1952.
Admiral Sidney W. Souers
BY SARA L. SALE*
During a lighter moment in late January 1946, President Harry S.
Truman sent a memorandum to Rear Admiral Sidney W. Souers
requesting that he accept his newly appointed position, "director of
centralized snooping," in Truman's words. Not offended, fellow Missourian Admiral Souers assumed the appointment of director of central
intelligence with serious intentions. According to Margaret Truman, the
memorandum issued by the president was not designed to dilute the
importance of Admiral Souers's directorship. Instead, it provided one
of many examples of President Truman's "refusal to let the seriousness
of his work make him solemn."1
*Sara L. Sale is an associate professor of history at Missouri Southern State
College, Joplin. She holds the B.A. degree from Missouri Southern State College; the
M.A. in history from Central Missouri State University, Warrensburg; and the Ph.D.
from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater.
1 Margaret Truman, Harry S. Truman (New York: William Morrow and Company,