Anne Clark Martindell

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Anne Clark Martindell (July 18, 1914 – June 11, 2008) was an American Democratic Party politician from New Jersey, as well as a diplomat who served as United States Ambassador to New Zealand from 1979 to 1981.

Early life and family[edit]

Anne Clark was born in New York City on July 18, 1914 to William and Marjory Clark. After attending boarding school in Maryland she enrolled at Smith College in 1932. After one year at Smith, she was forbidden from returning to campus by her father, William Clark, a federal judge in Newark, New Jersey who would later be appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He forced her to withdraw from the college, fearing that an educated woman would be unmarriageable. Much later in life she would return to Smith and earn a B.A. degree in 2002, at the age of 87. Smith also honored its oldest graduate with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.[1]

Following her departure from Smith she returned home to Princeton, New Jersey and married George Scott, a stockbroker, in 1934. They had three children together: Marjory Scott Luther, George C. Scott III; and David C. Scott. The marriage ended in divorce after 13 years. Upon her divorce she met and later married Jackson Martindell, publisher of Marquis Who's Who, the company that annually produces Who’s Who in America. Together they had a son, Roger,[1] who served on the Princeton Borough Council.[2]

Political career[edit]

Martindell was already in her fifties when she became active in Democratic politics. Her brother Blair Clark was the national campaign director for Eugene McCarthy in the 1968 presidential campaign.[3] She attended the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago to show support for McCarthy, as well as for New Jersey gubernatorial candidate Robert B. Meyner, a friend of the family. After the convention, Meyner asked Martindell to become vice chair of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee. At the end of her four-year appointment, local Democrats encouraged Martindell to run for New Jersey Senate in 1973 in a traditionally Republican district encompassing parts of Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Morris Counties. She managed to beat incumbent State Sen. William E. Schluter in a year when Republicans battled the specter of the Watergate scandal and Democrats were buoyed by the landslide victory of Brendan Byrne as Governor of New Jersey.[4][5]

In her four years in the State Senate, Martindell worked primarily on women's issues, education, and the environment. She served as chair of the Education Committee, member of the Appropriations Committee, chair of the Budget Revision Subcommittee for Higher Education, chair of the Joint State Library Committee, member of the Senate Nursing Home Commission, and chair of the Committee to Defeat Casino Gambling.[6] Martindell was a delegate for Jimmy Carter at the 1976 Democratic National Convention and was an active campaigner for Carter in New Jersey. When Carter was elected president, Martindell resigned from the New Jersey Senate in 1977 to take a series of federal appointments. She was succeeded in the Senate by Walter E. Foran, then serving in the New Jersey General Assembly, who won a special election to fill the remainder of Martindell's term as well as the general election for a full four-year term.[7]

Diplomatic career[edit]

Martindell was first appointed to the Commission to Review Ambassadorial Appointments and later became director of the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, surveying natural-disaster reconstruction efforts funded by USAID. Her work garnered the attention of the ambassadorship review board, which recommended her candidacy to Carter for the position of United States Ambassador to New Zealand. Martindell was nominated for the ambassadorship and served from 1979 to 1981. She was the first woman to serve as ambassador to New Zealand.[6]

Martindell signed the Treaty of Tokehega on behalf of the United States, which delimited the maritime boundary between Tokelau and American Samoa.

On her return from New Zealand, Martindell continued to foster close relations between the two countries, organizing the United States-New Zealand Council in 1986 and serving as the Council's first president.

Martindell's memoir Never Too Late (ISBN 978-1933672502) was published in 2008. She died on June 11, 2008 at the age of 93.[3]


  1. ^ a b MacMillan, John (Spring 2000). "The Education of Anne Martindell" (PDF). Smith Alumnae Quarterly. Retrieved March 11, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Princeton Borough Elected Officials". Borough of Princeton. Retrieved March 11, 2008. 
  3. ^ a b "Anne Martindell, 93, a pioneer in politics". The Times (Trenton). June 12, 2008. Retrieved June 12, 2008. 
  4. ^ "A Matron Defies Political Odds". The New York Times. October 21, 1973. Retrieved March 11, 2008. 
  5. ^ "Lame-Duck Republicans Wind Up Trenton Duties". The New York Times. November 13, 1973. Retrieved March 11, 2008. 
  6. ^ a b "Anne Martindell Papers". Princeton University Library. Retrieved March 11, 2008. 
  7. ^ Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey. 1986. p. 233. On Nov. 8, 1977, he [Foran] was elected to two Senate terms: the unexpired term of former Senator Anne C. Martindell, who had resigned to accept a federal appointment; and the full four-year term that began Jan. 10, 1978. On Nov. 21, 1977, Mr. Foran resigned from the Assembly, and was sworn as a senator. 

External links[edit]

New Jersey Senate
Preceded by
William E. Schluter
New Jersey State Senator - District 14
January 1974 – November 1977
Succeeded by
Walter E. Foran
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Armistead I. Selden, Jr.
United States Ambassador to New Zealand
August 28, 1979 – May 7, 1981
Succeeded by
H. Monroe Browne