Lt. General Howard D. Graves

Is your surname Graves?

Research the Graves family

Lt. General Howard D. Graves's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Howard Dewayne Graves

Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of Tommy Jasper Graves and Velma Lee Clifton

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
view all

Immediate Family

About Lt. General Howard D. Graves

Howard Dwayne Graves (August 15, 1939 – September 13, 2003) was a former United States Army Lieutenant General, Superintendent of the United States Military Academy (1991–1996), and Chancellor of Texas A&M University (1999–2003). A 1961 graduate of West Point, he was a Rhodes Scholar, earning three degrees from Oxford during his army career. During his service in the Army, he was the personal aide to two Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Admiral William J. Crowe and General Colin L. Powell.

Early life and education

Graves was born in Roaring Springs, Texas to Tommy J. and Velma Lee Clifton Graves. He almost drowned trying to baptize a cat in a pond behind their home but was revived at a Civilian Conservation Corps camp that was close to their rural home. After spending his youth in Amarillo, Texas and graduating from Amarillo High School in 1957, Graves received an appointment to West Point as a member of the class of 1961. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Engineer branch in 1961. He earned a Rhodes Scholarship and spent the first three years of his military career at Oxford, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1964. He was advanced to Master of Arts in 1968 and gained a Master of Letters degree in 1971.

Early military career

Upon returning to the United States from his first tour at Oxford, he joined the 82nd Airborne Division where he commanded an Engineer company in the Dominican Republic in 1965. He saw combat in Vietnam, 1968–1969, where he was an Engineer Battalion S-3 and Assistant Division Engineer for the First Cavalry Division. After his second tour at Oxford, Graves returned to West Point in 1970, assigned to the Department of Social Sciences, where he taught International Relations and Comparative Foreign Governments.

Senior military career

In 1974, Graves was appointed Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, James Schlesinger. His duties included coordinating Schlesinger's travel and public appearances, preparing briefings and speeches for Congressional hearings, and providing counsel on matters affecting the Army. In 1976, Graves took command of the 54th Engineer Battalion in Germany, returning to the United States in 1978 to attend the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. After graduation, he served on the faculty of the War College for the next two years. In 1980, Graves took command of the 20th Engineer Brigade. He was then promoted to Brigadier General, after which he joined the First Cavalry Division in 1982 as the Assistant Division Commander. The next year, Graves was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff, Engineer, U.S. Army Forces Command. In 1984, Graves became Deputy Director for Strategy, Plans, and Policy, of the Army Staff. The next year he was promoted to Vice Director of the Joint Staff. In 1987, Graves was appointed Commandant of the Army War College. Lieutenant General Graves then returned to Washington, D.C. to become Assistant to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 1991, Graves was appointed the 54th Superintendent of the United States Military Academy, a position he held until his retirement in 1996.

Post military

Graves later joined the Harry Guggenheim Foundation as a Director and in 1998 was visiting Professor, Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Service at the University of Texas. In 1999, He was selected to be the 11th Chancellor of the Texas A&M University System. During his tenure as chancellor, Texas A&M added three new universities to its system, Texas A&M University–San Antonio, Tarleton State University-Central Texas in Killeen, West Texas A & M University in Canyon, Texas.

Graves battled cancer for several years, finally succumbing at his home in College Station, Texas on September 13, 2003. He is survived by his wife, Gracie Newman Graves, son, Colonel Gregory Howard Graves who is also graduate of West Point (class of 1988) and wife Wya Graves, daughter Gigi Graves Kail and husband the late Colonel Eric Kail who was an Army officer, sister Dwanelle Graves van Dyk. He is interred at the West Point Cemetery.

Awards, decorations, and badges

view all

Lt. General Howard D. Graves's Timeline

Age 64