The August 1957 issue of the show-business journal Variety reported that Men of Annapolis —the only television series ever to feature the U.S. Naval Academy—was one of the top ten syndicated shows in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Cleveland, and Atlanta. The rise and fall of this popular dramatic series and the events that transpired during its production involve classic Hollywood motives, Naval Academy expectations, enthusiasm from all involved, and ultimate disillusionment.
Several alumni credit Men of Annapolis for inspiring their interest in attending the Naval Academy, including the current Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Anthony Principi, and Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Admiral John R. Ryan, both from the class of 1967. Secretary Principi said, "Ever since I was a young boy I was addicted to watching Men of Annapolis . . . and I think the idea of attending Annapolis came from those days." 1 After watching the series as a youngster of middle-school age in Mountainhome, Pennsylvania, Admiral Ryan recalled 43 years later: "This series inspired me to seek entrance to USNA! . . . Men of Annapolis clearly resulted in increased public awareness of the Naval Academy during the 1950s and '60s and positively influenced a number of young men to pursue admission." 2