Trần Văn Chương

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Trần Văn Chương (2 June 1898 — 24 July 1986[1]) was South Vietnam's ambassador to the United States in the early 1960s and the father of the country's de facto first lady, Madame Nhu (1924-2011). He was also the foreign minister of the Empire of Vietnam, a Japanese puppet state that existed in 1945.

Family life[edit]

He married Thân Thị Nam Trân (died 24 July 1986), who was a member of the extended Vietnamese royal family. Her father was Thân Trọng Huề, who became Vietnam's minister for national education, and her mother was a daughter of Emperor Đồng Khánh. They had a son and three daughters, including Lệ Xuân, who became the wife of Ngô Đình Nhu, the brother of South Vietnam's first President, Ngô Đình Diệm.

Chương's family alliances enabled him to rise from being a member of a small law practice in the Cochin-Chinese (South Vietnamese) town of Bạc Liêu in the 1920s to become Vietnam's first Foreign Secretary under his wife's cousin Emperor Bảo Đại, while Japan occupied Vietnam during World War II. He eventually became South Vietnam's ambassador to the United States, but resigned in protest in 1963, denouncing his government's anti-Buddhist policies.[citation needed]

South Vietnam coup d'état[edit]

On 1 November 1963, Chuong's son-in-law Ngô Đình Nhu and Nhu's brother, President Ngô Đình Diệm were assassinated in a coup d'état led by General Dương Văn Minh. Chuong's daughter, Ngô Đình Nhu's wife, Madame Nhu (1924-2011), was in Beverly Hills, California at the time of the coup.[citation needed]


Chương and his wife remained in the United States in Washington, D.C. On 24 July 1986, they were found strangled to death at their home. Their son, Trần Văn Khiêm, was accused but found unfit for trial. The remains of Chương and his wife were interred at Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, D.C.[2]


External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Post created
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Ho Chi Minh (in SRV)
Preceded by
South Vietnam Ambassador to United States
Succeeded by