Alfred Thayer Mahan – 1840-1914
Although he was the son of a West Point professor, Mahan graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis (1859) and served as a naval officer for some 40 years. From 1886 to 1889, he was president of the Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island, and lectured on sea power. His 1890 collection of lectures, The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660–1783, postulated that sea power was crucial throughout history in the attainment of national supremacy. This and his next book, The Influence of Sea Power upon the French Revolution and Empire, 1793–1812 (1892), guided U.S. global military strategy during both world wars and helped to transform the nation into a major naval power.