William A. Wilson (diplomat)

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William A. Wilson
William A. Wilson Ambassador to Holy See meets with President.jpg
Wilson with Ronald Reagan in 1984
1st United States Ambassador to the Holy See
In office
April 9, 1984 – July 18, 1986
PresidentRonald Reagan
Preceded byDiplomatic relations established
Succeeded byFrank Shakespeare
Personal details
William Albert Wilson

(1914-11-03)November 3, 1914
Los Angeles, California
DiedDecember 5, 2009(2009-12-05) (aged 95)
Carmel, California
Political partyRepublican
EducationStanford University (B.S., M.S.)

William Albert Wilson (November 3, 1914 – December 5, 2009) was an American diplomat and businessman from Los Angeles.

Early years[edit]

Wilson's father was an engineer in the oil-tool business and his mother a Canadian. During World War II, he served as a captain in the Army Ordnance Corps.


Wilson met his wife, Elizabeth "Betty" Johnson, at Stanford University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering in 1936 and a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering in 1937 before marrying in 1938. They had two daughters. His wife died in 1996.


A close friend of President Ronald Reagan, Wilson was appointed on 11 February 1981 as the personal representative of the President to the Holy See, when the United States still did not have full diplomatic relations with the Vatican, and in 1984 as the first United States Ambassador to the Holy See with the establishment of official relations.


Wilson died on December 5, 2009, aged 95.[1][2][3]


  1. ^ First US ambassador to the Vatican dead at 95 - Yahoo! News
  2. ^ US Ambassador William A. Wilson, K6ARO (SK)
  3. ^ Berger, Joseph (7 December 2009). "William A. Wilson, Reagan's Envoy to Vatican, Dies at 95". The New York Times.

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
U. S. Ambassador to the Holy See
Succeeded by