Harry E. T. Thayer

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Harry E. T. Thayer
United States Ambassador to Singapore
In office
President Jimmy Carter
Preceded by Richard F. Kneip
Succeeded by J. Stapleton Roy
Personal details
Born (1927-09-10)September 10, 1927
Boston, Massachusetts
Died January 21, 2017(2017-01-21) (aged 89)
Washington, DC

Harry E. T. Thayer (September 10, 1927 – January 21, 2017)[1] was an American who served as the seventh United States Ambassador to Singapore from 1980–85.


Thayer was born in Boston, Massachusetts. From 1945 to 1946, Thayer served in the US Navy. He attended Yale University and graduated in 1951, and worked for Newsweek from 1952 to 1954, followed by two years with the Philadelphia Bulletin. He entered the State Department's service in 1956, and until 1971 worked in Hongkong, Taipei, and China. From 1971 to 1975 he was a member of the US Mission at the United Nations, and then returned again to China, until 1980, when he was appointed ambassador to Singapore, succeeding Richard F. Kneip, who resigned his post.[2] In 1984 he was appointed to lead the American Institute in Taiwan.[3]

His son, Nate, became a journalist, and gained recognition after he interviewed Pol Pot in 1997.


Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
James R. Lilley
Director of the American Institute in Taiwan
Succeeded by
David Dean