Robert Ellsworth, Former NATO Ambassador, Dead at 84

Publié le par Atlantic Council

Atlantic Councilpublished 13/05/2011 at 20:32

Robert Ellsworth, a Lifetime Director of the Atlantic Council and former US Ambassador to NATO, has died. He was 84. Our sincere condolences go out to his family and loved ones, along with our gratitude for a lifetime of service to his country. A memorial service will take place at St. Francis Episcopal Church at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 11. The church is located at 10033 River Road in Potomac, Maryland.

Robert Ellsworth

His New York Times obituary from May 11:

Robert Ellsworth and Richard NixonRobert F. Ellsworth, an independent-minded former Republican congressman from Kansas who helped run the 1968 presidential campaign of Richard M. Nixon and was rewarded with a top White House job and then the ambassadorship to NATO, died on Monday in Encinitas, Calif. He was 84.

The cause was complications of pneumonia and multiple organ failure, his family said.

Nixon easily won Kansas in 1960 in his unsuccessful presidential race against John F. Kennedy, and Mr. Ellsworth rode his coattails to beat an incumbent Democratic congressman. After meeting Nixon on a flight from Washington to Chicago in 1966 and impressing him with his intellect, Mr. Ellsworth became the national political director of Nixon’s 1968 campaign against Hubert Humphrey.

As president, Nixon appointed Mr. Ellsworth as one of five men with the title assistant to the president, despite his opposition to Nixon’s continuation of the Vietnam War. His long sideburns were an anomaly in the buttoned-down Nixon White House.

In 1969, Nixon named him ambassador to NATO, with the mission of assuring European allies that their views would not be ignored as the United States discussed arms levels with the Soviet Union. In 1974, Nixon appointed him assistant secretary of defense for international affairs.

President Gerald R. Ford, Nixon’s successor, promoted Mr. Ellsworth to deputy secretary of defense, the second-highest post in the Defense Department. President Ford assigned him to persuade Congress not to cut the Pentagon’s budget for espionage.

Mr. Ellsworth went on to a successful career in investment banking and worked to rehabilitate Nixon’s memory as director of the Nixon Center, a research group in Washington, and of the Nixon Foundation in Yorba Linda, Calif.

Ellsworth served on the Atlantic Council board from the early 1970s and was recognized as a "Lifetime Director" in 2010 for his long-standing commitment to the Council and its work.

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