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Matthew Bogdanos
Colonel Bogdanos speaking at the Don Bosco Prep High School Commencement in 2006
Nickname "pit bull"[1]
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1980-1988, 2001-2005 (active)
1988-2001, 2005-present (reserves)
Rank Colonel
Battles/wars Operation Desert Storm
Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Awards Bronze Star
National Humanities Medal
Other work Assistant D.A., author, boxer

Colonel Matthew Bogdanos (Ματθαίος Βογδάνος) is an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan (since 1988), author, and a colonel in the United States Marine Corps Reserves. In 2003, while on active duty in Marine Corps, he led the investigation into the looting of Iraq's National Museum, and was subsequently awarded the National Humanities Medal for his efforts. He had previously gained national attention for the prosecution of Sean Combs, who was acquitted of weapons and bribery charges in a 2001 trial stemming from a 1999 nightclub shootout.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Bogdanos is a native New Yorker who attended Don Bosco Preparatory High School and waited tables in his family’s Greek restaurant while growing up in lower Manhattan.[2]

File:Matthew Bogdanos in Iraq (April 2003).jpg

In Babylon in April 2003

In November 2005, he was awarded a National Humanities Medal from President George W. Bush. [3][4] Has also received the 2004 Public Service Award from the Hellenic Lawyers of America, the 2006 Distinguished Leadership Award from the Washington DC Historical Society, and a 2007 Proclamation from the City of New York.[5] Released back into the Marine Reserves in October 2005, he returned to the New York County , and continues the hunt for stolen antiquities.[6] A former middleweight boxer with a record of 23-3, he still boxes for the New York City Police Department’s Widows and Children’s Fund.[7]


Publications[edit | edit source]

  • "Casualties of War: Truth and the Iraq Museum". April 2005. 
  • Thieves of Baghdad is his first-hand account of his journey to recover Iraq’s lost treasures. His royalties from the sale of the book go to the Iraq Museum.
Bogdanos, Matthew; William Patrick (2005). Thieves of Baghdad: One Marine’s Passion for Ancient Civilizations and the Journey to Recover the World’s Greatest Stolen Treasures. Bloomsbury USA. ISBN 1-58234-645-3. 
  • "Interagency Operations: The Marine Specialty of this Century". March 2006. 

Awards[edit | edit source]

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
1st Row Defense Superior Service Medal Bronze Star
2nd Row Defense Meritorious Service Medal Meritorious Service Medal Joint Service Commendation Medal Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal
3rd Row Joint Service Achievement Medal Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal Joint Meritorious Unit Award w/ 2 oak leaf clusters Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation w/ 1 service star
4th Row Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal w/ 2 service stars National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 service star Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Afghanistan Campaign Medal
5th Row Iraq Campaign Medal Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
6th Row Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon w/ 1 service star Navy & Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon w/ 2 service stars Marine Corps Recruiting Ribbon Armed Forces Reserve Medal

On May 7, 2011, Bogdanos was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in recognition of his humanitarian efforts.

See also[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. "Puff Daddy on Trial: The Players". Court TV Online. February 13, 2001. Archived from the original on 2008-04-18. http://web.archive.org/web/20080418010054/http://www.courttv.com/trials/puffy/players.html. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  2. Richardson, Clem. "Modern Treasure Hunter", Daily News (New York), January 3, 2005. Accessed February 22, 2011. "The Don Bosco Preparatory School graduate chose Bucknell University, and joined the Marines on Jan. 15, 1977, the second semester of his freshman year. 'They left me alone during the school year,' Bogdanos said. 'In the summers, I went to Officers Candidate school.'"
  3. "Recovering History,". http://www.marines.com/main/index/winning_battles/history/leaders/col_matthew_bogdanos. 
  4. “President Bush To Award The 2005 National Humanities Medals,” "National Humanities Awards, 2005". http://www.neh.gov/news/archive/20051108.html. 
  5. “Department of Defense Legacy Resource Management Program,” "Cultural Resources Update, 2007". https://www.denix.osd.mil/portal/page/portal/CR/Update/Special-Edition.pdf. 
  6. McClelland, Eileen (Houston Chronicle) (March 17, 2006) “Treasure Hunter.”
  7. Hunter, Karen (New York Daily News) (March 17, 2001). “Prosecutor’s Bloody but Unbowed.”

References[edit | edit source]

  • Kennicott, Philip (January 22, 2006). "Book World: Thieves of Baghdad". Washington Post. 
  • Zavis, Alexandra (Associated Press) (May 12, 2003). "Profile: Matthew Bogdanos". Guardian Unlimited. "An eclectic colonel who once prosecuted P Diddy - and lost - is now hunting down Iraq's lost antiquities" 

External links[edit | edit source]

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