Marine Log

September 15, 2006

Former USCG Commandant dies

The U.S. Coast Guard has announced the death of Adm. J. William Kime, 72, Coast Guard commandant from 1990 to 1994, who succumbed to cancer yesterday.

"This is a very sad day for the Coast Guard," said Adm. Thad Allen, commandant of the Coast Guard. "The Coast Guard lost a close member of our family, and America has lost a great leader. In the wake of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Adm. Kime pioneered how the Coast Guard now prevents and responds to oil and hazardous chemical spills, significantly minimizing the environmental damage caused by such spills. His legacy can be seen today in how the Coast Guard responds to a broad range of threats and hazards to our maritime, homeland, and national security interests."

"Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Valerie, their children, and the entire Kime family during this very difficult time," Allen said.

Kime served as commandant of the Coast Guard from 1990 to 1994, where he oversaw implementation of the landmark Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and established the position of drug interdiction coordinator. During his Coast Guard career, he served afloat in deck and engineering positions and ashore in the law enforcement, marine safety and environmental protection fields. His assignments included commanding the Coast Guard district in Long Beach, Calif., directing operations for the Coast Guard district in Miami, heading of the Coast Guard's technical division in New York and Washington, serving as captain of the port in Baltimore and chief of the marine safety, security and environmental protection office in Washington. He also was a key leader in the Coast Guard's response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

After retiring from the Coast Guard with 41 years of service, Kime served as Chief Executive Officer of ship management companies in the United States, the United Kingdom, Norway and Sweden, and as CEO of a quality services company in London. He worked with BIMCO, the world's largest private shipping organization, until 2005, and with the BT Federal Board of Directors until his death.

Born in Greensboro, N.C., Kime graduated from Baltimore City College the third oldest public high school in the United States in 1951 and from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1957. He received a Master of Science degree in naval architecture and marine engineering and the professional degree of Naval Engineer from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1964. He was a distinguished graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and a registered professional engineer. Kime was the 1993 recipient of the United Nations World Maritime Prize.

Survivors include his wife Valerie and two sons, Edward W. Kime of Bel Air, Md., and James G.W. Kime of Columbia, Md.

Kime will be buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.