Benjamin Lear (May 12, 1879 – November 2, 1966) was a United States Army general who served in the Spanish–American War, Philippine Insurrection, World War I and World War II.
Ben Lear was born in Hamilton, Ontario on May 12, 1879. His military service began in 1898, when he enlisted with the 1st Colorado Infantry, USV, for the Spanish–American War as a First Sergeant. He was promoted to second lieutenant during the Philippine–American War in the 1st Colorado and later in the 36th Infantry, USV, then joined the regular army as a sergeant at the end of the war. He subsequently served in World War I.
He was a 1912 Olympian, part of the equestrian team which won the Bronze Medal in the three day team event.
Lear graduated from the Army School of the Line in 1922, the Army General Staff School in 1923, and the Army War College in 1926.
He was promoted to Brigadier General in May 1936 and Major General in October 1938. He commanded the 1st Cavalry Division from 1936 to 1938, and the Pacific Sector of the Panama Canal Zone from 1938 to 1940.〔R. Manning Ancell and Christine M. Miller, ''The Biographical Dictionary of World War II Generals and Flag Officers'' ISBN 0-313-29546-8, p. 184〕
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