John O'Leary (ambassador)

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John O'Leary
United States Ambassador to Chile
In office
August 19, 1998 – June 29, 2001
President Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Preceded by Gabriel Guerra-Mondragón
Succeeded by William R. Brownfield
Personal details
Born January 16, 1947
 Portland, Maine
Died April 2, 2005(2005-04-02) (aged 58)
 Washington, D.C.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Patricia Cepeda

John O'Leary (January 16, 1947 – April 2, 2005) served as mayor of Portland, Maine, and as United States ambassador to Chile under President Bill Clinton.

Personal life[edit]

O'Leary was born in Portland and graduated from Yale University in 1969. He later attended Clare College, Cambridge University, on a Mellon fellowship and received a master's degree in 1971. He received a degree from Yale Law School in 1974. While studying at Yale Law, O'Leary acted as a coach for the Yale debate team. He then went on to a private law practice.

O'Leary married a fellow Yale student, Patricia Cepeda, the daughter of Colombian writer Álvaro Cepeda Samudio, a friend of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Colombian Nobel Prize-winning novelist, journalist and short story writer, for whom Patricia Cepeda O'Leary worked as a translator.[1] John and Patricia O'Leary had two daughters. The O'Learys endowed the John O'Leary and Patricia Cepeda Fellowship for the Study of Latin America at Yale College.

Political career[edit]

He served as a member of the Portland City Council 1975-82) and for a term as that city's largely ceremonial Mayor (1980-81). He ran unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. House from Maine's First Congressional District in 1982, losing in the Democratic primary.[2]


  1. ^ Martin, Gerald. "Gabriel García Márquez: a life". Random House Inc. 
  2. ^ "John O'Leary, 58; Portland mayor became ambassador to Chile". Boston Globe. April 4, 2005. Retrieved 12 December 2017. 


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
City Councilman, Portland, Maine
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Mayor, Portland, Maine
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by
Democratic Nominee, U.S. Congress, Maine District 1
Succeeded by
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Gabriel Guerra-Mondragón
United States Ambassador to Chile
August 19, 1998 – June 29, 2001
Succeeded by
William R. Brownfield