Felix de Weldon

Felix de Weldon

Felix Weihs de Weldon (April 12, 1907June 3, 2003) was an American sculptor. His most famous piece is the Marine Corps War Memorial of five U.S. Marines and one sailor raising the flag of the United States on Iwo Jima during World War Two.


De Weldon was born in Vienna, Austria on 12 April 1907. He received his early education at St. Egichins Grammar School. In 1925, he earned an A.B. from Marchetti College,"Who's Who in Marine Corps History"] a preparatory college.Ness, Oral History Interview, 1969.] From the University of Vienna's Academy of Creative Arts and School of Architecture, he earned his M.A. and M.S. degrees in 1927 and his Ph.D. in 1929.

He first received notice as a sculptor at the age of 17, with his statue of Austrian educator and diplomat Professor Ludo Hartman."Who's Who in Marine Corps History"] In the 1920s, he joined artist's communes in France, Italy and SpainDe Weldon eventually moved to London, where he gained a number of commissions, among them a portrait sculpture of George V.

A consequential trip to Canada to sculpt Prime Minister Mackenzie King brought de Weldon to North America, and he decided to settle in the United States. De Weldon enlisted in the United States Navy during the World War II.Ness, Oral History Interview, 1969.] He became an American citizen in 1945.


Approximately 1,200 de Weldon sculptures are located in seven continents. (A de Weldon monument of Richard Byrd is in McMurdo Sound, in Antarctica).

At the conclusion of the war, the Congress of the United States commissioned de Weldon to construct the statue for the Iwo Jima memorial in the realist tradition, based upon the famous photograph of Joe Rosenthal, of the Associated Press agency, taken on 23 February 1945. De Weldon made sculptures from life of three of the six men raising the flag. The other three, who had died in action later, were sculpted from photographs. De Weldon took nine years to make the memorial, and was assisted by hundreds of other sculptors. The result is the 100-ton bronze statue which is on display in Washington, D.C.

De Weldon also contributed in creating Malaysia's Tugu Negara (National Monument) when the country's first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman saw the USMC War Memorial statue in his visit to America in October 1960 and personally met him for favour to design the monument. De Weldon was later conferred with the title Tan Sri, the Malaysian equivalent of a high-ranking knighthood.

Dr. de Weldon died on June 2, 2003 at age 96 in Woodstock, Virginia. De Weldon is survived by his wife, Joyce Swetland de Weldon, of Warwick, Rhode Island and two sons Byron & Daniel DeWeldon. Daniel is working on a documentary "A Hero for Humanity - The Man Behind The Monuments". Daniel will narrate the film reflecting the life story of his father.

Partial list of Felix de Weldon monuments

*The Flag Raising on Iwo Jima, Arlington, VA
*Discus Thrower, New York, NY
*Cross of the Millennium, U.S.Naval Academy, St. Nicholas Church, MD
*President John F. Kennedy, John F. Kennedy Library, Boston, MA
*Astronaut Statue, Richmond, KY
*National Monument for Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
*Simon Bolivar, Washington, DC
*Admiral Richard E. Byrd, McMurdo Station, Antarctica
*Elvis Presley, Nashville, TN
*Belleau Wood Monument, Belleau Wood, France
*Waving Girl, Savannah, GA
*General George Rogers Clark, Louisville, KY
*Mother Joseph, Washington, DC
*Seabee Monument, Washington, DC
*St. Stephen the Martyr, Washington, DC
*Richard Kirkland, South Carolina
*Ty Cobb, Turner Field, Georgia
*Revolutionary War Memorial, Philadelphia, PA, USA
*President Monroe, Fredericksburg, VA, USA
*Mackenzie King(former Prime Minister) Canada
*Harry S. Truman, Athens, Greece
*King George VI, London, UK
*Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, USA
*National Guard Monument, Washington, DC, USA
*Sergeant York, Nashville, Tennessee, USA
*George Washington, Canberra, Australia
*King Edward VIII (late Duke of Windsor), London, UK
*King George V, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK
*Abraham Lincoln, Mexico City
*Sam Rayburn, Speaker of the House, Bonham, TX, USA
*Civil War Monument, Fredericksburg, VA, USA
*International AIDS Memorial, HOPE, Atlanta, GA, USA
*Red Cross Monument, Washington, DC, USA
*General Andrew Jackson, Columbia, South Carolina, USA
*Benjamin Franklin, Louisville Kentucky, USA
*George Bannerman Dealey, Dallas, TX, USA
*Hiroshima A-Bomb Memorial, Hiroshima, JP
*William G. Leftwich, Jr., Lieutenant Colonel, USMC, Quantico, VA, USA
*General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., USMC, Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, VA, USA


Malaysian National Monument (Tugu Negara)Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

ee also


*cite web|accessdate=2007-01-13
title=Dr. Felix W. de Weldon
work=Who's Who in Marine Corps History
publisher=History Division, United States Marine Corps

* [http://www.spqrfineart.com/Ambiog.html SPQR FINE ART Felix de Weldon Bio]

External links

*cite web|accessdate=2007-01-12
title=Felix de Weldon International Art Gallery

*cite interview|url=http://www.trumanlibrary.org/oralhist/deweldon.htm |accessdate=2007-01-12
title=Oral History Interview with Felix de Weldon
last=de Weldon
date=January 22, 1969
interviewer=Jerry N. Ness
program=Truman Presidential Library
place=Washington, D.C.

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