Robin Chandler Duke

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Robin Chandler Duke
United States Ambassador to Norway
In office
September 12, 2000 – March 1, 2001
PresidentBill Clinton
George W. Bush
Preceded byDavid Hermelin
Succeeded byJohn D. Ong
Personal details
Grace Esther Tippett

(1923-10-13)October 13, 1923
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
DiedFebruary 6, 2016(2016-02-06) (aged 92)
Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.
Jeffrey Lynn
(m. 1946; div. 1958)

Angier Biddle Duke
(m. 1962; his death 1995)

Robin Chandler Duke (October 13, 1923 – February 6, 2016) was an American women's reproductive rights advocate[1] and diplomat. She was the United States Ambassador to Norway from 2000 to 2001.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Born Grace Esther Tippett in Baltimore, Maryland, she was the daughter of Richard Edgar and Esther Chandler Tippett. After her parents separated, she got modeling jobs at Lord & Taylor and elsewhere to help support her mother and sister.[2]


She began her journalism career in 1944 as a writer for the women's page of the New York Journal-American using the byline Robin Chandler.[2]

Later, after marrying actor Jeffrey Lynn, with whom she had two children, she found work at NBC-affiliate WCAU-TV in Philadelphia as a news reader. In 1952 she became an anchor-reporter with Dave Garroway, and covered national political conventions and the marriage of Jacqueline Bouvier to John F. Kennedy in 1953.[2]

She was a broker at Orvis Brothers from 1953 to 1958. She was then vice-president for public relations at Pepsi-Cola until 1962.[2]

Chandler Duke was active in organizations relating to women's rights, family planning, and population studies. In addition to serving as national co-chairwoman of the Population Crisis Committee/Draper Fund, which financed International Planned Parenthood, she was a founder of the United Nations Fund for Population Activities; chairwoman of Population Action International; president and later chairwoman of the National Abortion Rights Action League; and president of Naral Pro-Choice America.[2]

A co-founder of the United States-Japan Foundation and a trustee of the Institute of International Education, Chandler Duke was also a director of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the World Childhood Foundation. She served on other boards, including those of the Guggenheim Museum, Rockwell International, and Emigrant Savings Bank.[2]

Ambassador to Norway[edit]

In 2000-2001, Chandler Duke was United States ambassador to Norway, appointed by Bill Clinton to serve for the final year of his administration. She was previously accorded ambassadorial rank when, in 1980, President Jimmy Carter asked her to lead the United States delegation to the 21st United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization conference in Belgrade, Serbia.[2]

Personal life[edit]

In 1946, she married actor Jeffrey Lynn (1909–1995),[4] with whom she had two children before their divorce in 1958:[5]

  • Jeffrey Lynn[3]
  • Letitia Lynn[3]

In 1962, she married Angier Biddle Duke (1915–1995), son of Angier Buchanan Duke. Angier Biddle Duke was chief of protocol for the U.S. Department of State under President John F. Kennedy. After the assassination of President Kennedy, Angier Biddle Duke became Lyndon B. Johnson's chief of staff, and ambassador to Denmark, Spain and Morocco. Together, the couple had one son:

  • Angier Biddle Duke, Jr. (b. 1962), who married Idoline A. Scheerer, the daughter of William Scheerer II, in 1990.[6]

Angier Biddle Duke died in 1995.[7] Robin Chandler Duke died on February 6, 2016, aged 92, in a retirement community in Charleston, South Carolina.[2]


  1. ^ Langer, Emily (2016-02-08). "Robin Chandler Duke, career woman, ambassador's wife and advocate for reproductive rights, dies at 92". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-02-10.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Robin Chandler Duke, a Champion of Women's Rights, Dies at 92". New York Times. February 7, 2016. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "Robin Chandler Duke, Champion of Women's Rights And Longtime Southampton Resident, Dies February 6". February 7, 2016. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  4. ^ "OBITUARY: Jeffrey Lynn". The Independent. 28 November 1995. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Angier B. Duke, 79; Former Envoy, White House Aide". Los Angeles Times. May 1, 1995. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  6. ^ "Biddle Duke to Wed Idoline Scheerer". The New York Times. 10 June 1990. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  7. ^ Gross, Michael (2005). 740 Park: The Story of the World's Richest Apartment Building. Broadway Books. pp. 304–308. ISBN 9780767917445.

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
David Hermelin
United States Ambassador to Norway
Succeeded by
John D. Ong