Stark, Harold Raynsford, 1880–1972, American admiral, b. Wilkes-Barre, Pa. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, he was commissioned (1905) an ensign in the navy. After service in World War I, he filled several important naval administrative posts. In 1939, Stark was made admiral and appointed chief of naval operations. Removed (1942) from this position after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he commanded (1942–45) U.S. naval forces in Europe in World War II and retired from active duty in 1946. Although the final years of his career were clouded by the Pearl Harbor disaster, Stark was absolved of any responsibility by presidential and congressional investigating committees.