(left to right) General William H. Draper Jr., serving as Special Representative for the United States in Europe, William Tomlinson of the United States Liaison Office to the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and Max Kohnstamm, secretary of the ECSC.

(left to right) General William H. Draper Jr., serving as Special Representative for the United States in Europe, William Tomlinson of the United States Liaison Office to the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and Max Kohnstamm, secretary of the ECSC.

General William H. Draper, Jr., H. Rowan Gaither, and Frederick L. Anderson, Jr. founded an unusual company in Palo Alto, California in 1958—a venture capital firm. Draper, Gaither & Anderson was the first professional venture capital outfit on the West Coast, and the first anywhere to be structured as a limited partnership. Draper had a background in investment banking, but had maintained a parallel career in the army and politics. He earned a master’s degree in economics at NYU, and then signed up immediately for military service. He became a major in the infantry during World War I. Afterwards, he moved into finance, but remained in the Army Reserves, eventually becoming Chief of Staff of the 77th Division. At the end of World War II, he was assigned to the Economics Division of the Allied Control Council, to assist in the reconstruction of Germany, and he later served as the first undersecretary of the Army and the first U.S. Ambassador to NATO. Gaither worked as a San Francisco attorney, Assistant Director of MIT’s Radiation Laboratory, and President of the Ford Foundation. In 1948, he founded the Rand Corporation. Anderson was a retired Air Force General, formerly Deputy Commander of U.S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe during World War II.