Cherif Guellal

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Cherif Guellal
Cherif guellal identité.jpg
Algerian Ambassador to the United States
In office
1963 – 1967
Preceded by Created
Succeeded by Abolished
Personal details
Born (1932-08-19)August 19, 1932
Constantine, Algeria
Died April 7, 2009(2009-04-07)
Nationality Algerian-American
Domestic partner Yolande Fox
Residence Georgetown (Washington, D.C.)
Education Aix-en-Provence
Occupation Diplomat
Signature Signature of Cherif Guellal

Cherif Guellal (August 19, 1932 – April 7, 2009)[1] was an Algerian businessman and diplomat, who fought in the Algerian independence movement and citizen of the United States.


Guellal attended university at Aix-en-Provence in southern France, graduating in 1956. Taking the lead from his mother, who was a leader in the Algerian anti-French resistance movement, Guellal joined the government in exile. He worked to build support for the movement, mainly from India.

He served as a key aide to the resistance leader Ahmed Ben Bella, who became the first president of post-colonial Algeria. He was sent to Washington, D.C., as the new country's first Ambassador to the United States. He outlasted his mentor, remaining in his post following the military coup that removed Ben Bella from power and installed Houari Boumedienne, the former National Liberation Front military chief, in his place.

In Washington, he successfully lobbied for the repeal of racially restrictive covenants on his ambassadorial residence, one impetus for the later, widespread repeal of such covenants.

After his diplomatic career, he served as representative of Algeria's national oil company Sonatrach.

Personal life[edit]

Guellal had a long-term relationship with Yolande Fox, who was Miss America in 1951 and later an opera singer. Guellal and Fox led an active social life, frequenting academic meetings and circulating among Washington's social and intellectual elite. His social secretary was Sally Quinn. Until his death, they raised Fox's grandchild, Yolande Paris Campbell, together.[2]

Ambassador Guellal died of leukemia in Algeria on April 7, 2009. He was buried at the El Alia Cemetery.


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