Arnold Lewis Raphel

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Arnold Lewis Raphel
18th U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan
In office
January 1987 – 17 August 1988
President Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Deane R. Hinton
Succeeded by Robert B. Oakley
Personal details
Born Arnold Lewis Raphel
(1943-03-16)March 16, 1943
Troy, New York, US
Died August 17, 1988(1988-08-17) (aged 45)
Bahawalpur, Pakistan
Nationality American
Spouse(s) Myrna Feigenbaum (first wife)
Robin Raphel (second wife)
Nancy Halliday Ely-Raphel (1987-1988; third wife)
Children 1 (with Myrna Feigenbaum)
Alma mater Hamilton College (New York)
Occupation Diplomat

Arnold Lewis Raphel (March 16, 1943 – August 17, 1988) was the 18th United States Ambassador to Pakistan. He died along with Pakistani President, Muhammad Zia ul-Haq, U.S. Brigadier General Herbert M. Wassom and others, when the Lockheed C-130 Hercules they were on-board crashed shortly after takeoff from Bahawalpur Airport in Pakistan.

Early life and education[edit]

Raphel was born in Troy, New York to a Jewish family on March 16, 1943.[1] Raphel graduated from Hamilton College (B.A., 1964) and the Maxwell School at Syracuse University (M.A., 1966).[2]

He spoke Urdu, French, Persian and English.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Raphel was married three times. He had one daughter, Stephanie, with his first wife, Myrna Feigenbaum.[1] His second marriage was to fellow diplomat Robin Raphel.[when?] At the time of his death, he was married to Nancy Ely, whom he had married in 1987.[1]


Raphel joined the US State Department in 1966.

Raphel held a variety of positions throughout his career until his death in 1988. He was mainly a diplomat for the US Government.[3]

Iran hostage crisis[edit]

In 1979, Raphel was a key member of the State Department's Special Operations Group set up to free the American hostages seized by Iranian militants at the United States Embassy in Teheran.[2][3]

Office of United States Secretary of State[edit]

In 1981, Raphel served as the Special Assistant to Secretary of State Edmund Muskie.[4] Afterward, he became the Deputy Assistant to the United States Secretary of State in 1985.[5][6]

Ambassador to Pakistan[edit]

Raphel was nominated by President Ronald Reagan and succeeded Dean Roesch Hinton as US Ambassador to Pakistan in January 1987.[2]



Raphel died in a plane crash in Pakistan on August 17, 1988 in which Pakistani President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq and 29 others also died.[7] He was 45 years old at the time of his death.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]