York, Alvin Cullum (1887–1964), a United States soldier in World War I. He was awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military decoration, for his bravery in putting a German machine-gun battalion out of action in the Argonne Forest in October, 1918. In this action Corporal York, leading a 17-man platoon, killed more than 20 Germans and captured 132 others. Marshal Ferdinand Foch, the Allied supreme commander, called this the greatest feat accomplished by an enlisted soldier during the entire war in Europe.
York was born in Fentress County, Tennessee. After the war, a farm in his native county was bought for him by popular subscription. He established a foundation to support schools in the hills of Tennessee and started a Bible school.
Sergeant York (1928) is his autobiography. He became a hero to a second generation with the release in 1941 of the movie Sergeant York , directed by Howard Hawks. Gary Cooper won an Academy Award for his portrayal of York.