William L. Eagleton

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William Lester Eagleton Jr. (August 17, 1926 – January 27, 2011) was a United States Foreign Service Officer and diplomat who served as Ambassador to several Middle Eastern and North African states.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born in Peoria, Illinois, Eagleton served in the United States Navy from 1944 to 1946, and graduated from Yale University in 1948. He joined the U.S. foreign service in 1949.

Diplomatic career[edit]

Eagleton served as American consul in Tabriz, Iran between 1959 and 1961[2] and United States Ambassador to Yemen 1967, Tunisia 1977, Libya 1978–1979, Algeria 1979, Iraq 1980–1984 and Syria 1985–1988. He is also an author of The Kurdish Republic of 1946 (1961) and, "Iraqi Kurdistan" in The World Today (1956).[3]

After his term as Ambassador to Syria ended in 1988, Eagleton worked with the United Nations as Deputy Commissioner-General for Palestinian Refugees (1988–94), Special Coordinator for Sarajevo (1994–1996), and Director of UN Operations in Western Sahara (1999–2001). He rejoined the State Department in 2003 as a special advisor for Northern Iraq.

Textile publications[edit]

Eagleton's 1988 book Introduction to Kurdish Rugs drew from his experience collecting rugs in Baghdad and elsewhere in the middle east. It remains the standard book on Kurdish pile weavings, which remain relatively unknown even among textile collectors.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ex-Peoria diplomat dies at 84". Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  2. ^ "William Eagleton: "The Foreign Service Has Changed Much"". 1 September 2005. Retrieved 22 October 2016. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ http://www.mideasti.org/about/about_experts_resources.html] Archived December 30, 2005, at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Robert P. Paganelli
United States Ambassador to Syria
Succeeded by
Edward Peter Djerejian