Arthur W. Hummel Jr.

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Arthur William Hummel Jr.
Arthur W Hummel Jr.jpg
United States Ambassador to China
In office
July 30, 1981 – September 24, 1985
Preceded by Leonard Woodcock
Succeeded by Winston Lord
United States Ambassador to Ethiopia
In office
February 20, 1975 – July 6, 1976
Preceded by Thomas W. McElhiney
Succeeded by Frederic L. Chapin
United States Ambassador to Burma
In office
September 10, 1968 – July 22, 1971
President Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard M. Nixon
Preceded by Henry A. Byroade
Succeeded by Edwin W. Martin
United States Ambassador to Pakistan
In office
June 4, 1977 – July 19, 1981
President Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Henry A. Byroade
Succeeded by Ronald I. Spiers
Personal details
Born (1920-06-01)June 1, 1920
Shanxi Province, China
Died February 6, 2001(2001-02-06) (aged 80)
Chevy Chase (town), Maryland
Mother Ruth Bookwalter Hummel
Father Arthur W. Hummel Sr.
Occupation Diplomat

Arthur William Hummel Jr. (Chinese: 恒安石; pinyin: Héng Ānshí; birth name Arthur Millbourne Hummel) (June 1, 1920 – February 6, 2001) was a United States diplomat.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Fenzhou, Shanxi, China, to Christian missionaries Arthur W. Hummel Sr. (1884–1975) and Ruth Bookwalter Hummel. His family moved to Beijing when he was 4. In 1927, when he was 7, the disruption and anti-foreign violence of the Northern Expedition forced his family to relocate to Massachusetts. When he was 8, his parents moved to Washington, D.C., where his father worked as Chief of the Orientalia Division at the Library of Congress. His parents sent him to Westtown School, a Quaker boarding school outside Philadelphia, for high school, where he graduated in 1938. He then attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, earning a B.A in 1940. In the same year, he then returned to Beijing to study at the California College of Chinese Studies and to study Chinese, since he had forgotten what he had learned as a child. He also taught English at the Catholic University of Peking.[1]

Peaceful study in the ancient capital did not last long, however. After the attack on Pearl Harbor Hummel was taken by the Japanese and interned at the Weihsien Internment Camp in Shandong Province. Though food was not adequate, life at the camp was relatively relaxed, since it was far from the battle-front. Hummel was put in charge of the hospital laboratory, taking advantage of his college training. One of his fellow internees was Langdon Gilkey, who later became a well-known theologian. In 1944 he and Laurance Tipton, a British prisoner, escaped and joined a unit of the Nationalist guerrillas who fought against the Japanese. [1] After World War II ended, he worked with the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, an organization which helped rebuild China along with other countries needing aid after the war. Hummel then attended the University of Chicago, graduating with a master's degree in International Studies in 1949.


Arthur Hummel joined the United States Foreign Service in 1950. In 1960, Hummel attended the National War College. He was director of Voice of America from 1961 to 1963. He served after that as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Taiwan before being appointed to the position of United States Ambassador to Burma in 1968. He left his post on July 22, 1971 to become United States Ambassador to Ethiopia from 1975 to 1976. He also was Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 1976 to 1977. On June 8, 1977, he was appointed United States Ambassador to Pakistan, where he served until 1981. He was United States Ambassador to China from 1981 to 1985. He then joined the third and final United States-China communiqué as a negotiator where he helped the U.S. reaffirm their ties with the People's Republic of China.


After retiring from the U.S. Department of the State, he acted as the director of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies. Hummel died on February 6, 2001 in his home in Chevy Chase, Maryland at the age of 80.[2]


  1. ^ a b Kennedy (1998).
  2. ^ Lewis, Paul (11 February 2001). "Arthur Hummel Jr. Dies at 80; Negotiated Taiwan Arms Pact". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 July 2009.


  • Flynn, Kathryn (2005). "Arthur W. Hummel Jr". Pettus Archival Studies. Pettus Archival Project, SES, CGU. Archived from the original on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 4 July 2009.
  • Kennedy, Interviewed by Charles Stuart (1998). "Ambassador Arthur W. Hummel, Jr" (PDF). Initial interview date: April 13, 1994. The Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training Foreign Affairs Oral History Project Information Series. Retrieved April 28, 2015.

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Henry A. Byroade
U.S. Ambassador to Burma
Succeeded by
Edwin W. Martin
Preceded by
Thomas W. McElhiney
U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia
Succeeded by
Frederic L. Chapin
Preceded by
Philip Habib
Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Succeeded by
Richard Holbrooke
Preceded by
Henry A. Byroade
U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan
Succeeded by
Robert I. Spiers
Preceded by
Leonard Woodcock
U.S. Ambassador to China
Succeeded by
Winston Lord