The Legacy of Martin Hoffmann '50 P'80'89, Former Secretary of the Army

Former Middlesex Trustee and Distinguished Alumni Award winner Martin Hoffmann of the class of 1950 died on July 14. Marty served on the Middlesex Board of Trustees from 1980-1990 and won the Henry Cabot Lodge ’20 Distinguished Alumni Award in 2000. He was the father of two Middlesex graduates, Heidi Hoffmann Slye ’80 and Bern Hoffmann ’89, and was married to his wife Margaret (Muggy) Hoffmann for over 50 years.

Marty went on to Princeton after Middlesex and graduated in 1954. He then spent four years in the Army, becoming an officer and achieving the rank of first lieutenant. After four years in the Army, Marty received a law degree from the University of Virginia. After holding positions with the U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he became legal counsel to Senator Charles Percy of Illinois and later general counsel for the Department of Defense. In 1975, Marty was chosen by President Gerald Ford to be the Secretary of the Army, a position he held until 1977. Upon his retirement as secretary, a colleague wrote: “Yourself once a solider, you have never forgotten what it takes to support soldiers on and off the battlefield.”

Upon his departure from the Middlesex Board of Trustees in 1990, Marty wrote to retiring Headmaster David Sheldon, “One tends to think one serves on a Board to repay the institution; it turns out that one continues in the institution’s debt.” Marty remained an unfailingly loyal Middlesex alumnus over the years, helping to arrange alumni gatherings in the Washington, DC area and being a leader in the class of 1950.

Photo by Daniel Eugene Greene, via Wikimedia Commons

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