Leonard Wood was born on October 9, 1860, in Winchester, New Hampshire. He earned his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1884, and joined the Army as a contract physician in 1885. His first assignment was to Fort Huachuca, Arizona, where he participated in the Indian Wars, including the last campaign against Geronimo in 1886. Wood then served in various other medical assignments, and was personal physician to Presidents Grover Cleveland and William McKinley before the outbreak of the Spanish-American War. During the Spanish-American War, Gen Wood organized and commanded the 1st Volunteer Cavalry Regiment in Cuba during the Battle of Las Guasimas, and then commanded the 2nd Brigade, Cavalry Division, V Corps in the battles of Kettle Hill and San Juan Heights. After the war ended, he remained in Cuba as the Military Governor of Santiago in 1898, and then as Military Governor of Cuba from 1899 to 1902, followed by service as commander of the Philippine Division, commander of the Department of the East, and Governor of Moro Province from 1902 to 1906. Gen Wood served as Chief of Staff of the Army, the only medical officer ever to hold that position, from 1910 to 1914. During World War I, he trained the 10th and 89th Infantry Divisions at Camp Funston, Kansas. After the war, Gen Wood was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 1920, and then retired from the Army in 1921. From 1921 to 1927 he served as Governor General of the Philippines. Leonard Wood died on August 7, 1927, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, was named in his honor in 1941.
His Medal of Honor Citation reads:
Voluntarily carried dispatches through a region infested with hostile Indians, making a journey of 70 miles in one night and walking 30 miles the next day. Also for several weeks, while in close pursuit of Geronimo's band and constantly expecting an encounter, commanded a detachment of Infantry, which was then without an officer, and to the command of which he was assigned upon his own request.