J. Butler Wright

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J. Butler Wright
J. Butler Wright.jpg
Born October 18, 1877
Irvington, New York, United States
Died December 4, 1939 (aged 62)
Havana, Cuba

Joshua Butler Wright (October 18, 1877 – December 4, 1939) was a United States diplomat who served as representative of the US in Hungary, Uruguay, Czechoslovakia, and Cuba. He was the twentieth and last Third Assistant Secretary of State.

Wright was born in Irvington, in Westchester County, New York on 18 October 1877, the son of C. R. Wright. J. Butler Wright later married Maude A. Wolfe of Tuxedo Park, in June 1902.[1] He lived in Briarcliff Manor, at Woodlea, later the golf house for Sleepy Hollow Country Club.[2]

In 1925 Wright was serving as Assistant Secretary of State under president Calvin Coolidge and Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes.[3]

Coolidge appointed Wright to served as Envoy to Hungary in 1927. Herbert Hoover appointed Wright as Envoy to Uruguay in 1930, and Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Wright as Envoy to Czechoslovakia in 1934, and afterwards as the U.S. Ambassador to Cuba from 1937 to 1939. During his stint as ambassador to Cuba, the SS St. Louis with its cargo of mostly German Jewish refugees tried to land in Havana in 1939. This incident was the basis for the 1976 film Voyage of the Damned.

Wright died at his post in Havana on 4 December 1939 after an operation.[4]


  1. ^ "Wright-Wolfe" (PDF). The New York Times. 1902-06-03. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  2. ^ Ferree, Bar (December 1906). "Notable American Homes". American Homes and Gardens. New York: Munn and Company. 3 (6): 355–364. LCCN 06022575. OCLC 1479984. OL 25515598M. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Clear Understanding". Time. 1925-02-09. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  4. ^ "Milestones". Time. 1939-12-11. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  • Wright, J. Butler; William Allison (2002). Witness to Revolution: The Russian Revolution Diary and Letters of J. Butler Wright. Westport, Conn.: Praeger. ISBN 0-275-97474-X. OCLC 48038358. 
Government offices
Preceded by
Robert Wood Bliss
Third Assistant Secretary of State
June 11, 1923 – June 30, 1924
Succeeded by
Office Abolished
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Theodore Brentano
United States Envoy to Hungary
June 18, 1927–October 24, 1930
Succeeded by
Nicholas Roosevelt
Preceded by
Leland Harrison
United States Envoy to Uruguay
9 February 1931–10 July 1934
Succeeded by
Julius G. Lay
Preceded by
Francis White
United States Envoy to Czechoslovakia
October 25, 1934–June 1, 1937
Succeeded by
Wilbur J. Carr
Preceded by
Jefferson Caffery
United States Ambassador to Cuba
23 August 1937–4 December 1937
Succeeded by
George S. Messersmith