John O'Leary (ambassador)

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For other people named John O'Leary, see John O'Leary (disambiguation).
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
Children Alejandra Cepeda O'Leary and Gabriela Joyce O'Leary

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 eldest of whom is the goddaughter of Marquez. 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 and for a term as that city's Mayor. He ran unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. House from Maine's First Congressional District in 1982, losing in the Democratic primary.


  1. ^ Martin, Gerald. "Gabriel García Márquez: a life". Random House Inc. 


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