Stephen Decatur

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First Barbary War

War of 1812

Second Barbary War

Commodore Stephen Decatur, Jr. (5 January 1779 – 22 March 1820) was an American naval officer notable for his heroism in the Barbary Wars and in the War of 1812. He was the youngest man to reach the rank of captain in the history of the United States Navy, and the first American celebrated as a national military hero who had not played a role in the American Revolution.


Early life

Decatur was born on January 5, 1779, in Sinepuxent, Maryland, to Stephen Decatur, Sr. and his wife Ann (Pine) Decatur.[1] He attended the Episcopal Academy and then studied at the University of Pennsylvania with future naval heroes Richard Somers and Charles Stewart. He married Susan Wheeler, daughter of the mayor of Norfolk, Virginia, on March 8, 1806. Susan was once pursued by Vice President Aaron Burr and Jérôme Bonaparte, brother to Napoleon.

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