John A. Calhoun

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John Archibald Calhoun
3rd United States Ambassador to Chad
In office
May 28, 1961 – April 1, 1963
President John F. Kennedy
Preceded by Frederic L. Chapin (ad interm)
Succeeded by Brewster H. Morris
5th United States Ambassador to Tunisia
In office
July 24, 1969 – May 31, 1972
President Richard Nixon
Preceded by Francis H. Russell
Succeeded by Talcott W. Seelye
Personal details
Born October 29, 1918
Berkeley, California
Alameda County
Died January 21, 2000 (81 years)
San Rafael, California
Marin County
Nationality American
Profession Diplomat
Military service
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1944–46
Unit Navy Supply Corps

John Archibald Calhoun (October 29, 1918 – January 21, 2000) was an American diplomat. He was the United States Ambassador to Chad from 1961 to 1963, as well as to Tunisia from 1969 to 1972.[1][2][3]


Early life and military career, 1918–1946[edit]

John Archibald Calhoun was born on October 29, 1918, in Berkeley, Alameda County, California, the son of George Miller and Ellinor McKay (Miller) Calhoun. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1939 with a B.A. in International Relations and in 1940 from the Harvard University with a M.A. in History. He later joined the U.S Foreign Service in 1941, and became the U.S. Vice Consul in Tijuana, Mexico, in 1942. Later in that year, he was Vice Consul in Cairo, Egypt. From 1942 to 1944, he was posted in Tehran, Iran.

In 1944, Calhoun joined the U.S. Navy under the Supply Corps, and served until 1946. He attended the Naval School of Military Government at Princeton University and served in the U.S. Naval Military Government in Okinawa, Japan.

Career in State Department, 1941-1972[edit]

In 1946, after Calhoun had left the Navy, he was the U.S. Political Advisor on German Affairs in Berlin, Germany, until 1949. From 1949 to 1952 he worked at the Department of State. From 1952 to 1955 he served in Seoul, South Korea. He attended the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base from 1955 to 1956. He served in Paris, France, with the U.S. Delegation to NATO, from 1956 to 1957. He was the Director of Executive Secretariat at the State Department from 1957 to 1960. He was a counselor for political affairs in Athens, Greece, from 1960 to 1961.[4]

In 1961, President Kennedy nominated Calhoun to be the U.S. Ambassador to Chad,[5] where he served from 1961 to 1963. In 1963, he was reassigned to Berlin as a Minister until 1966. He was Minister Counselor for Political Affairs in Saigon, South Vietnam, from 1967 to 1968, during the Tet Offensive On July 8, 1969, he was nominated by President Nixon to be the Ambassador to Tunisia, where he served from 1969 to 1972.

Retirement and later life, 1972-2000[edit]

Calhoun retired in 1972, after 31 years in the Foreign Service, upon returning to San Francisco. He died on January 21, 2000 at the Marin General Hospital in San Rafael, California, of pneumonia and kidney failure.[6][7] He was a resident of Mill Valley, California.


External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Frederic L. Chapin
United States Ambassador to Chad
Succeeded by
Brewster H. Morris
Preceded by
Francis H. Russell
United States Ambassador to Tunisia
Succeeded by
Talcott Williams Seelye

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Department of State website (Background Notes).