A USC President That Didn’t Drop The Ball

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.
Maybe Nikias should take a day off to read Hubbard’s book.

10 thoughts on “A USC President That Didn’t Drop The Ball

  1. With Nikias officially USC can and will on from his numerous questionable action as the schools President ..

    John and Steve are the two that truly knew what it was to be a USC Trojan…

    Looking forward to what the next President brings to the campus and program..

    Fight On Trojan faithful


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had Dr Hubbard for some history classes in the 80’s – what an interesting guy – had lunch w him a few times at the faculty club and he had some great stories to say the least.


  3. I had to interview with him in 1970 as a history major in WPH. He seemed full of himself then and based on his list of ‘John Cameron Swayze’ account of his being akin to ‘Leonard Zelig’ it was all about him. Pray tell aside from post WWII exploits what gain did USC garner under Hubbard? It was Sample and also Nikias’ who saw both the rise in academic ranking as well as fund raising that has made USC what it is today – Hubbard did nothing in either regard – absolutely nothing.


    1. I can assure you Hubbard was convinced he was – why his mirror told him that each and ever moment of his life as he sang that hymn written about him “How Great Thou Art!”


  4. fantasitc reportage as usu/al, wolfman! yet ANOTHER example of how you know more about SC than 99% of the alumni and 100% of the media!!!

    the Greek always looked slippery and he never fooled the wolfman, you had him pegged from the begging as an empty suit.



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