Thousands of people drive in and out of Logan International Airport every day, knowing little about Lieutenant General Edward Lawrence Logan, the man the airport was named after.
Edward Lawrence Logan
Now, a state representative has floated a proposal to add the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy's name to the airport -- making it Logan-Kennedy International and raising the question: Who was Logan?
One thing's for sure: He was no lightweight.
Logan led troops in the Spanish-American War and World War I. He was also a lawyer, judge, state lawmaker, and president of a number of charitable institutions, according to a biography posted on the website of the Massachusetts Port Authority, which operates the airport.
"He's largely forgotten today. Everybody asks who General Logan was. But if you had asked us in 1941 when he passed away, everybody in Boston knew him," said Leonid Kondratiuk, the retired US Army colonel who serves as the historian for the Massachusetts National Guard. "In his time, he was well regarded and well known and well respected. He was a leader in so many fields."
Born Jan. 20, 1875, Logan, a lifelong resident of South Boston, graduated from Boston Latin School in 1893 and from Harvard in 1897.
Logan served in the Spanish-American War, then entered Harvard Law School, graduating in 1901, the biography said.
After the war, he joined the National Guard and built his law practice and became presiding judge of the South Boston Court.
His Guard unit was called into service to protect the southwest border from Mexican bandits in 1916, then mobilized in March 1917 as war loomed with Germany. Logan led the 101st Infantry Regiment, which was made up of Irish-Americans from Boston, through six campaigns in the war, Kondratiuk said.
During and after his service in the National Guard, Logan was a Boston city councilor, a state representative, and a state senator, as well as president of a number of charitable institutions. He also became the first state commander of the American Legion. He died July 6, 1939.
True, Logan made his mark long ago in wars that are fading into the mist of history, in a Boston very different from today. But one of his descendants was still leery of the idea of changing the airport's name.
"I think there are plenty of things that have been named for the Kennedys and another one is probably overkill," Malcolm Logan, 55, of Portland, Maine, who is Logan's great-nephew. "But nonetheless, Iím very saddened and sympathetic to Senator Kennedy's family's loss and Massachusetts' loss."
"I would be shocked if they ever did this," he said. "But who knows?"
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