Frank Shakespeare

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Frank J. Shakespeare
Frank Shakespeare, Ronald Reagan, John Paul II at Vatican.jpg
Greeting John Paul II in 1987 at Apostolic Palace
Born (1925-04-09) April 9, 1925 (age 92)
New York City, United States
Nationality American
Known for United States Ambassador to Portugal, United States Ambassador to the Holy See, Honorary Trustee of The Heritage Foundation

Francis J. Shakespeare (born April 9, 1925) is a former American diplomat and media executive. He was the president of CBS Television before entering public service. He served as the United States Ambassador to Portugal from 1985 to 1986 and the United States Ambassador to the Holy See from 1986 to 1989. He now serves as an honorary member of the board of trustees for The Heritage Foundation.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in New York City to Francis and Frances (née Hughes) Shakespeare and raised in the Roman Catholic faith, Shakespeare graduated (B.S.) from Holy Cross College in 1946.[1] He also served in the U.S. Navy from 1945 to 1946. He was later awarded honorary degrees in engineering from Colorado School of Mines in 1975, in commercial science from Pace University in 1979 and in law from Sacred Heart University in 1985.[2]


Shakespeare was president of CBS Television in New York from 1950 to 1969,[1] when he was appointed by President Richard Nixon as director of the United States Information Agency.[3] He returned to the private sector in 1973, and became an executive vice president of Westinghouse in New York. In 1975 he became vice chairman of RKO General.[2]

In 1981 President Ronald Reagan named him chairman of the Board for International Broadcasting,[4] the entity which oversaw the operations of Radio Free Europe. He held this position until 1985, when Reagan appointed him United States Ambassador to Portugal.[2] The following year, in September 1986, Shakespeare was appointed United States Ambassador to the Holy See.[5][6] Since 1979 Shakespeare has been an honorary member of the board of trustees for The Heritage Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based public policy research institute.[7] He also currently serves as a trustee of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Nomination of Frank Shakespeare To Be a Member of the Board for International Broadcasting, and Designation as Chairman". Public Papers of the Presidents. 26 June 1981. 
  2. ^ a b c "United States Ambassador to Portugal". National Catholic Reporter. 24 July 1985. 
  3. ^ The New York Times. 14 January 1969. p. 1.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "Reagan Chooses EX-U.S.I.A. Head". The New York Times. 16 May 1981. 
  5. ^ King, Wayne; Weaver Jr., Warren (30 July 1986). "New Vatican Envoy". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ "United States Ambassador to the Holy See". Public Papers of the Presidents. 26 September 1986. 
  7. ^ a b "Board of Trustees". The Heritage Foundation. The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 12 June 2011. 

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Henry Allen Holmes
U. S. Ambassador to Portugal
Succeeded by
Edward Morgan Rowell
Preceded by
William Wilson
U. S. Ambassador to the Holy See
Succeeded by
Thomas Patrick Melady