Captain Paul Hammond was born 16th December 1883 in Scituate, Cape Cod, Massachusetts and was schooled at Harvard, graduating in 1906. He was a highly successful banker, talented amateur yachtsman and served nobly in both World Wars.
Hammond founded, at a young age, the private equity firm now known as HKW (Hammond Kennedy Whitney), looked upon as one of North America’s most trusted (and oldest) companies in its field. Hammond also displayed an equal talent away from the financial world, and this was for sailing. He was a keen and very able yachtsman which led him to serve with the United States Navy in the latter stages of the Great War when he held the rank of Lieutenant. His sailing abilities perhaps reached their zenith in the inter-war period when, in 1928, as owner and skipper of the yacht ‘Nina’ sailed to victory in the Transatlantic Ambrose Lightship Race; an event from New York to Santander. In doing so he won the Queen of Spain’s Cup and many accolades. Was part owner and skipper of the Thorne-Hammond syndicate for the 1930 Cup defender Whirlwind. Later in 1939 he, his wife and Prof. Samuel E. Morison organised the Harvard-Columbus Expedition. Its aim was to verify some of the accounts of Christopher Columbus’s voyages. Hammond spent three months in command of the barquentine ‘Capitana’ which had been acquired for the expedition. Morison was to write a successful book of the expedition entitled ‘Admiral of the Ocean Sea’ which was well-received.
He again served with the navy in the Second World War and was Assistant Naval Attaché to the Court of St. James from May 1941 until June of the following year. He then returned home and served for the remainder of the war in Florida. The British awarded Hammond an O.B.E. in recognition of his services toward the protection of the Atlantic convoys from the marauding U-Boats.
Commodore (as he was by then) Paul L. Hammond lived a long life and died aged 92, in New York, on 5th May 1976