Laurence Steinhardt

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Laurence Steinhardt
Laurence Steinhardt.jpg
United States Ambassador to Sweden
In office
August 28, 1933 – June 26, 1937
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded by John Motley Morehead III
Succeeded by Fred Morris Dearing
United States Ambassador to Peru
In office
13 September 1937 – 10 April 1939
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded by Fred Morris Dearing
Succeeded by Raymond Henry Norweb
United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union
In office
11 August 1939 – 12 November 1941
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded by Joseph E. Davies
Succeeded by William H. Standley
United States Ambassador to Turkey
In office
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded by John Van A. MacMurray
Succeeded by Edwin C. Wilson
United States Ambassador to Czechoslovakia
In office
20 July 1945 – 19 September 1948
President Harry Truman
Preceded by Anthony J. Biddle, Jr.
Succeeded by Joseph E. Jacobs
United States Ambassador to Canada
In office
President Harry Truman
Preceded by Ray Atherton
Succeeded by Stanley Woodward
Personal details
Born Laurence Adolph Steinhardt
October 6, 1892
New York City, New York
Died March 28, 1950(1950-03-28) (aged 57)
near Ramsayville, Ontario
Spouse(s) Dulcie Hofmann Steinhardt Beau
Alma mater Columbia University (BA, MA, LLB)
Profession diplomat, lawyer

Laurence Adolph Steinhardt (October 6, 1892 – March 28, 1950) was a United States diplomat. He served as the U.S. Minister to Sweden and U.S. Ambassador to Peru, the USSR, Turkey, Czechoslovakia, and Canada.[1] He was the first United States Ambassador to be killed in office.


Steinhardt was born October 6, 1892 in New York City. He served as a Sergeant in the Quartermaster Corps in the U.S. Army in World War I.[2]

He was a member of the Federation of American Zionists and the American Zion Commonwealth. He practiced law at Guggenheimer, Untermyer and Marshall, where his uncle Samuel Untermyer was partner, from 1920 through 1933. In 1932, he worked on the presidential campaign of Franklin Roosevelt.[3]

In Moscow 1942 shortly after his office was struck by a bomb.

Steinhardt was appointed U.S. Minister to Sweden in 1933 by Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was appointed ambassador to Peru in 1937, the Soviet Union in 1939.

On 23 February 1940, writing a letter from Moscow to Loy Henderson at the US Dept of State, Steinhardt reported that after having visited Riga, Tallinn and Leningrad with John Copper Wiley that he "could find no evidence in Riga or Tallinn -- and John agrees with me -- that there is any move presently on foot by the Soviets to "take over"."[4] Of course the take over did take place several months later in June 1940.

In 1941, he evacuated Moscow embassy to Kuybyshev.[5]

On January 12, 1942, he was appointed ambassador to Turkey. While ambassador to Turkey, Steinhardt, particularly because he was Jewish, was involved in the rescue of Hungarian Jews from Bergen Belsen. He also played a significant role in helping many eminent intellectuals fleeing Europe to find refuge in Turkey.[6]

In 1945, President Truman appointed Steinhardt ambassador to Czechoslovakia, and to Canada in 1948. While serving as the Ambassador to Canada, he was killed in a plane crash on March 28, 1950 near Ramsayville, Ontario, while en route to Washington, D. C. [7]

He is buried in section 30, Arlington National Cemetery.[8]


He married the former Dulcie Yates Hofmann (1917 - 1974); they had one daughter, Dulcie Ann.[9]

See also[edit]