Frank O. Braynard

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Frank O. Braynard, wiki "the organizer of Operation Sail, the historic 1976 gathering of tall ships in New York Harbor that heralded the start of the city’s recovery, died Monday [2007] in Glen Cove, N.Y. He was 91 and lived nearby in Sea Cliff, N.Y...

"In the early 1960s, Mr. Braynard met with a like-minded friend, Nils Hansell, and conceived of a parade of tall-masted ships for the 1964 New York World’s Fair. With help from people like Thomas J. Watson, Jr., then chairman of I.B.M., the idea was endorsed by President John F. Kennedy. The first Op Sail, more modest than its successors, was later dedicated to Kennedy.

"As chief executive of Operation Sail, Mr. Braynard, along with his colleague Howard Slotnick, organized three more Op Sails. None would have the impact of the 1976 Bicentennial event, which took place during the cold war, while New York was facing a fiscal crisis and racial strife...

"Mr. Braynard and Mr. Slotnick had traveled to Europe, Asia and the Soviet Union to persuade governments and private owners to send their tall ships to New York. They had sailed on the Kruzenshtern for three days in their lobbying effort. “Russian cadets who were in Op Sail ’76 told us that this was their first real contact with the United States and their first understanding that Americans were not devils, not the enemy,” Mr. Stanford said...

"Besides his daughter, of Manhattan, Mr. Braynard is survived by his wife of 58 years, the former Doris Shelland; a sister, Nancy Wait of Cranford, N.J.; a son, David, of Sea Cliff; and two granddaughters.

Mr. Braynard graduated from Duke University with a degree in history in 1939, then earned a master’s degree in maritime history at Columbia. In the 1940s, he was a ship news reporter for The Herald Tribune. Later he was public relations director for the American Merchant Marine Institute and then for the Moran Tugboat and Transportation Company." [1]

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  1. Frank O. Braynard, Ship Maven, Dies at 91, New York Times, accessed July 24, 2008.