George Wadsworth (diplomat)

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George Wadsworth
United States Ambassador to Italy
In office
October 1941 – December 1941
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded by William Phillips
Succeeded by Alexander C. Kirk
United States Ambassador to Lebanon
In office
November 16, 1944 – February 1, 1947
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Succeeded by Lowell C. Pinkerton
United States Ambassador to Syria
In office
November 17, 1944 – February 8, 1947
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Succeeded by Paul Humiston Alling
United States Ambassador to Iraq
In office
February 15, 1947 – September 26, 1948
President Edward Savage Crocker
Preceded by Loy W. Henderson
Succeeded by Loy W. Henderson
United States Ambassador to Turkey
In office
October 1, 1948 – January 2, 1952
President Harry S. Truman
Preceded by Edwin C. Wilson
Succeeded by George C. McGhee
United States Ambassador to Czechoslovakia
In office
October 1, 1948 – January 2, 1952
President Harry S. Truman
Preceded by Ellis O. Briggs
Succeeded by U. Alexis Johnson
United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
In office
January 9, 1954 – January 1, 1958
President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Preceded by Raymond A. Hare
Succeeded by Donald R. Heath
United States Ambassador to North Yemen
In office
January 9, 1954 – January 1, 1958
President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Preceded by Raymond A. Hare
Succeeded by Donald R. Heath
Personal details
Born (1893-04-03)April 3, 1893
Beverly, Massachusetts
Died March 5, 1958(1958-03-05) (aged 64)
Spouse(s) Dorothy Marnard Lasell
Alma mater Union College
Occupation Career FSO

George Wadsworth II (April 3, 1893 – March 5, 1958) was a United States diplomat, specializing in the Middle East.

Life[edit]

Wadsworth was born in Buffalo, New York and received a degree in chemical engineering from Union College in Schenectady, New York. He became interested in teaching abroad and moved to Beirut, Lebanon and joined the staff of the American University of Beirut as a professor (he served there from 1914 to 1917). To supplement his income, he took a part-time job working as a clerk in the United States consulate in Beirut.[1]

In May 1921, he married Dorothy Marnard Lasell. She died on November 20, 1928.;[2] married, May 1, 1936, to Norma Mack, daughter of Norman E. Mack and Harriet Taggart Mack.

Foreign Service career[edit]

In 1917, he entered the Foreign Service full-time and served in positions at embassies in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

In 1941, Wadsworth was serving in the United States embassy in Rome, Italy under Ambassador William Phillips who had been tasked with persuading Benito Mussolini to not enter World War II on the side of the Axis Powers. Unfortunately, his efforts failed and he fled Italy five days before the declaration of war. During those five days, Wadsworth served as Chargé d'Affaires ad interim there. When war was declared by Italy on December 11, 1941, Wadsworth was informed personally by Italian Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano. He then worked with Italian authorities to secure the safe passage of the embassy staff home, and was one of the three final staff members to leave in May 1942. He arrived back in New York by ocean liner in June. This was Wadsworth's first duty as Chief of Mission.

On returning to the US, Wadsworth was nearly immediately assigned to be Consul General, and then the first Ambassador to Syria and Lebanon, a political move that strengthened those countries against claims by Vichy France. After the war, he was made the first Ambassador to Iraq, previously served only by a lower-ranking Minister Plenipotentiary. He was subsequently in his career made ambassador to Turkey, Czechoslovakia,[3] and then Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.[4]

Starting during his time in Turkey, Wadsworth began a practice that would be one of the hallmarks of his diplomatic career. He raised money to establish a golf course in Ankara, which became a "social center" for diplomatic circles. Throughout the remainder of his career, he raised funds to set up nine other golf courses in the Middle East,[1] with one newspaper describing him as the "Johnny Appleseed of golf courses, sowing fairways in the most impossible places."[5]

He died of cancer in 1958, aged 64, less than a month before he was scheduled to retire on his 65th birthday.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Wadsworth, Ex-Envoy, Dies". The Washington Post. Mar 6, 1958. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "MRS. GEORGE WADSWORTH.: American Diplomat's Wife Dies Just After Arriving in Cairo.". The New York Times. Nov 21, 1928. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Wadsworth Is Nominated As New Envoy to Prague". The New York Times. Oct 10, 1952. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "Veteran Diplomat Named To Saudi Arabia, Yemen". The New York Times. Oct 22, 1953. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "Golf-Course Builder Puts Links In Sand". Toledo Blade. November 25, 1954. 

Sources[edit]

  • "Hull Very Frigid to Visiting Envoys". Bertram D. Hulen. The New York Times. New York, N.Y.: Dec 12, 1941. pg. 3, 1 pgs
  • "Gets Diplomatic Post". The New York Times. New York, N.Y.: Oct 3, 1942. pg. 6, 1 pgs
  • "Obituaries". Chicago Daily Tribune. Chicago, Ill.: Mar 7, 1958. pg. A11A, 1 pgs

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
William Phillips
United States ambassador to Italy
1941
Chargé d'Affaires ad interim
Succeeded by
Alexander C. Kirk
After World War II
Preceded by
None
United States ambassador to Syria
1942 – 1947
Consul General, promoted to Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
Succeeded by
James Hugh Keeley, Jr.
Preceded by
None
United States ambassador to Lebanon
1942 – 1947
First Ambassador
Succeeded by
Lowell C. Pinkerton
Preceded by
James S. Moose, Jr.
Chargé d'Affaires ad interim
United States ambassador to Iraq
1947 – 1948
First Ambassador
Succeeded by
Edward S. Crocker
Preceded by
Edwin C. Wilson
United States Ambassador to Turkey
1948 – 1952
Succeeded by
George C. McGhee
Preceded by
Ellis O. Briggs
United States Ambassador to Czechoslovakia
1952 – 1953
Succeeded by
U. Alexis Johnson
Preceded by
Raymond A. Hare
United States ambassador to Saudi Arabia
1954 – 1958
Succeeded by
Donald R. Heath
Preceded by
Raymond A. Hare
United States ambassador to Yemen
1954 – 1958
Succeeded by
Donald R. Heath