With USC president Max Nikias doing whatever he can to hold on to his job, it’s a good time to highlight a former president from the past.
USC president John Hubbard (1970-80) lived a colorful life. He’s known to football fans as being president during the glory days of the 1970’s and getting a penalty for arguing with the refs in Hawaii. But here’s some other highlights according to his memoirs:
- On a graduation trip to Europe, he and his friend stumbled onto one of the Nuremberg Rallies and heard Hitler speak.
- He witnessed the Hiroshima atomic explosion from the air while flying a reconnissiance mission that they thought was just a routine bombing raid.
- He attended the 1952 Helsinki Olympics as a reporter for Harper’s magazine. But that was a cover. He working as a CIA agent and directly assisted in the defection of a Romanian shooter.
- A few days after the Nuremberg rally, he was later he was carousing with Luftwaffe pilots (returning from the Spanish Civil War) in a beer hall along the Rhine.
- His first job out of college was an assistant at a government agency for one of Franklin Roosevelt’s close advisors. He rented a room in Virginia from the personal secretary to House Speaker Sam Rayburn.
- He was commissioned as a WWII Naval pilot with ill-fated eldest Kennedy brother Joe, in a private ceremony attended by the whole Kennedy clan.
- His air squadron was among the first to rotate into Iwo Jima after the U.S. Invasion.