William Cameron Forbes
|United States Ambassador to Japan|
September 15, 1930 – March 22, 1932
|Preceded by||William Castle, Jr.|
|Succeeded by||Joseph Grew|
|Governor General of the Philippines|
November 11, 1909 – September 1, 1913
|President||William Howard Taft|
|Preceded by||James Francis Smith|
|Succeeded by||Newton W. Gilbert (acting)|
|1st President of the Philippine Amateur Athletic Federation|
|Succeeded by||Manuel L. Quezon|
William Cameron Forbes
May 21, 1870
Milton, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Died||December 24, 1959 (aged 89)|
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
William Cameron Forbes (May 21, 1870 – December 24, 1959) was an American investment banker and diplomat. He served as Governor-General of the Philippines from 1909 to 1913 and Ambassador of the United States to Japan from 1930 to 1932.
He was the son of William Hathaway Forbes, president of the Bell Telephone Company, and wife Edith Emerson, a daughter of Ralph Waldo Emerson. He was grandson Sarah Hathaway and John Murray Forbes and Lidian Jackson and Ralph Waldo Emerson. After graduating from Harvard in 1892, he embarked on a business career, eventually becoming a partner in J. M. Forbes and Company.
During the administration of President William Howard Taft, Forbes was Governor-General of the Philippines from 1909 to 1913. Previously, during the administration of President Theodore Roosevelt, he had been Commissioner of Commerce and Police in the American colonial Insular Government of the Philippines from 1904 through 1908; and he was Vice Governor from 1908 through 1909.
Forbes, who was a polo enthusiast, founded the Manila Polo Club in 1919. It was the first polo field in the Philippines. Forbes had envisioned the club as a venue for polo and leisure for "gentlemen of a certain class" assigned to work in the Philippines like himself. He served as delegate of the club until the outbreak of World War II.The clubhouse was inaugurated on November 27, 1909.
In 1921, President Warren G. Harding sent Forbes and Leonard Wood as heads of the Wood-Forbes Commission to investigate conditions in the Philippines. The Commission concluded that Filipinos were not yet ready for independence from the United States, a finding that was widely criticized in the Philippines.
As modest legacy from those years of service in Manila, the gated community of Forbes Park in Makati, was named after him; and this community is the residence of some of the wealthiest people in the country. Lacson Avenue (formerly Gov. Forbes Street) in Sampaloc, Manila is still called "Forbes" by some up to the present day.
In 1935, Forbes headed an American Economic Mission to Japan and China to promote good business relations. The April 9, 1935 photo to the right presents Forbes meeting with the Japanese Minister of Commerce and Industry, Machida Chūji, at the official residence of Machida, in Tokyo. Together, they renegotiated agreements that would improve commercial relations between the two nations.
Forbes received an LL.D. from Bates College in 1932. He was on the Board of Trustees, Carnegie Institution of Washington and a Life Member of the Corporation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was on the original standing committee of the Foundation for the Study of Cycles from 1941. He died unmarried in 1959.
|Harvard Crimson (Independent) (1897–1898)|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title or championship game berth|
Forbes' papers are in the Houghton Library at Harvard University. Copies of his annotated journal are at the Library of Congress and the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston. The report of the Forbes Commission's Haitian analysis is at the Library of Congress.
Ambassador to Japan:
Forbes wrote the following books and articles:
Newton W. Gilbert
| Governor-General of the Philippines
Francis Burton Harrison
William Castle, Jr.
| U.S. Ambassador to Japan