George W. Landau

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George Landau
George W. Landau and Ronald Reagan 1982.jpg
George Landau and Maria Landau with Ronald Reagan
Personal details
Born(1920-03-04)March 4, 1920
Vienna, Austria
DiedOctober 9, 2018(2018-10-09) (aged 98)
Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.
Spouse(s)Maria Anna Jobst (1926-2010)
RelationsChristopher Landau (son)
Alma materGeorge Washington University

George Walter Landau (March 4, 1920 – October 9, 2018) was an American diplomat who served as the United States Ambassador to Paraguay, Chile, and Venezuela.

Early life and education[edit]

Landau was born March 4, 1920 in Vienna, Austria and became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1943.[1] He attended New York University before receiving his Associate degree in 1969 from George Washington University. In May 1988, George Washington University awarded him an honorary degree as Doctor of Public Service.[2]


Military career[edit]

Landau entered the United States Army in November 1942. After graduating from Officer's Candidate School, he served as Military Intelligence Officer in the European Theater of Operations. He left active duty status as a captain in Military Intelligence in 1947 but remained in the United States Army Reserve until 1975, when he retired with the rank of colonel. Among his decorations are the Army Commendation Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal.

Landau served in private business as an executive of a shipping company from 1947 to 1955, and as general manager of an American automobile distributor in Colombia from 1955 to 1957.[1]


In 1957, he began his career in the United States Foreign Service as commercial attache and Chief of the Economic Section in Montevideo, where he also served as member of the U.S. Delegation that created the "Alliance for Progress" in Punta del Este in 1961.[1] From 1962 to 1965, he was political officer, then Deputy Chief of Mission in Madrid, and attended the Canadian Forces College from 1965 to 1966.[1] He was Country Director of the Office of Spanish and Portuguese Affairs in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs from 1966 to 1972.[1] He was Ambassador to Paraguay from 1972 to 1977 and Ambassador to Chile from 1977 to 1982.[1] From January to April 1982, he served as executive director of the Presidential Commission on Broadcasting to Cuba.[1][3] President Ronald Reagan appointed him to be Ambassador to Venezuela, and he served from 1982 to 1985.[1] Landau received the State Department's Superior Honor Award for his work in the negotiation of the 1970 Spanish Base Agreement. He also was the action officer in concluding the renewal of the Azores Basing agreement with Portugal in 1972. He was awarded the Presidential Meritorious Service Award in 1984 and has been decorated by the Governments of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela. Ambassador Landau left the Foreign Service in 1985 to become president of the Americas Society. He retired in 1993. Landau also served as chairman of the Latin Advisory Board of Coca-Cola and of Guardian Industries, a major float glass manufacturer with several plants in Latin America. He was on the board of the Emigrant Bank from 1967 to 2005, and on the advisory committee of the Export–Import Bank of the United States in 1991 and 1992. Landau spoke fluent German and Spanish.[1]


Landau was a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy and of the Council on Foreign Relations. He was also a member of The Metropolitan Club, where he served as governor from 1991 to 1995. He was also a member of the American Foreign Service Association and DACOR (Diplomatic and Consular Officers, Retired). In 2013, he was presented the Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy Award by the American Foreign Service Association.

Personal life[edit]

His younger son, Christopher Landau, is the United States Ambassador to Mexico. He died in October 2018 at the age of 98 in Bethesda, Maryland and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Nomination of George W. Landau To Be United States Ambassador to Venezuela". Reagan Library. June 14, 1982. Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ "George W. Landau". The American Academy of Diplomacy. Retrieved 2020-01-27.
  3. ^ Cuba, United States Presidential Commission on Broadcasting to (1982). The Presidential Commission on Broadcasting to Cuba: final report ; submitted to the President of the United States and to the Secretary of Starte on September 30, 1982 pursuant to Executive Order no. 12323 of September 22, 1981. The Commission.
  4. ^ GEORGE LANDAU Obituary

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
J. Raymond Ylitalo
United States Ambassador to Paraguay
Succeeded by
Robert E. White
Preceded by
David H. Popper
United States Ambassador to Chile
Succeeded by
James D. Theberge
Preceded by
William H. Luers
United States Ambassador to Venezuela
Succeeded by
Otto J. Reich