Six Distinguished Diplomats Honored on U.S. Postage Stamps

May 30, 2006, 01:00 ET from U.S. Postal Service

    WASHINGTON, May 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Six U.S. diplomats -- Hiram Bingham
 IV, Charles E. Bohlen, Philip C. Habib, Robert D. Murphy, Clifton R.
 Wharton, Sr., and Frances E. Willis -- were commemorated on U.S. postage
 stamps today for their contributions to international relations as
 negotiators, administrators, trailblazers, shapers of policy, peacemakers
 and humanitarians.
     The "Distinguished American Diplomats" commemorative postage stamps
 dedication ceremony took center stage during the Washington 2006 World
 Philatelic Exhibition at the Washington Convention Center in Washington,
 DC. The stamps are available in Washington, DC, today and nationwide May
 31.
     "All of these diplomats," said James C. Miller III, Chairman of the
 presidentially-appointed U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors, "served in
 different parts of the world, yet they shared a common passion for service
 -- a passion that sometimes put them in harm's way. They took risks to
 advance humanitarianism. They took risks to advance ideas. They took risks
 to advance peace. And for that all of us should be thankful," he said in
 dedicating the stamps.
     "It is because these accomplished diplomats took so much pride in their
 service to our nation they have inspired generations of diplomats -- each
 one dreaming of how he or she can, like them, make a difference. These six
 diplomats represent what it means to be an American."
     Joining Miller in dedicating the Distinguished Diplomats stamps were
 Congressman Rob Simmons, (R-CT); Hiram Bingham IV's son, Robert Kim
 Bingham; Charles E. Bohlen's daughter, Avis Bohlen; Philip C. Habib's
 daughter, Susan Michaels; Robert D. Murphy's daughter, Mildred Pond; Dr.
 Clifton R. Wharton's son, Clifton R. Wharton, Jr.; and, the great niece of
 Frances E. Willis, Sherene Gravatte. Also participating in the ceremony was
 Nicholas G. Carter, PhD., Chairman, Technology Committee, Washington 2006
 World Philatelic Exhibition.
     Hiram Bingham IV
     While serving as a diplomat in France during World War II, Hiram
 Bingham IV (1903-1988) defied U.S. policy by issuing visas that saved the
 lives of more than 2,000 Jews and other refugees. Since the discovery of
 his heroism, he has been posthumously honored for "constructive dissent"
 (see attached).
     Charles E. Bohlen
     A renowned expert on the Soviet Union, Charles E. Bohlen helped to
 shape foreign policy during World War II and the Cold War. He was present
 at key wartime meetings with the Soviets, he served as ambassador to Moscow
 during the 1950s and advised every U.S. president between 1943 and 1968.
     Philip C. Habib
     Philip C. Habib (1920-1992) was renowned for his diplomacy in some of
 the world's most dangerous flash points. An authority on Southeast Asia, a
 peace negotiator in the Middle East, and a special envoy to Central
 America, Habib was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1982.
     Robert D. Murphy
     A skilled troubleshooter, Robert D. Murphy (1894-1978) played a key
 role in facilitating the Allied ground invasion of North Africa during
 World War II. He served as the first postwar U.S. ambassador to Japan, and
 in 1956 he became one of the first diplomats to be named Career Ambassador.
     Clifton R. Wharton
     The distinguished career of Clifton R. Wharton, Sr. (1899-1990) spanned
 nearly four decades. In addition to becoming the first black Foreign
 Service Officer, Wharton was the first black diplomat to lead an American
 delegation to a European country and to become an ambassador by rising
 through the ranks, rather than by political appointment.
     Frances E. Willis
     Frances E. Willis (1899-1983) began her diplomatic career in 1927 and
 served with distinction, especially in Europe, until 1964. She was the
 first female Foreign Service Officer to rise through the ranks to become an
 ambassador and the first woman to be honored with the title of Career
 Ambassador (see attached for detailed information on each diplomat).
     During the Washington, DC, World Philatelic Exhibition,
 www.washington-2006, May 27-June 3, visitors can see $40 million worth of
 the world's rarest stamps, have stamp collections valued and witness
 multi-million dollar stamp auctions. Families can get a jump-start on stamp
 collecting by buying stamps from the only location on the planet selling
 stamps from 135 countries under one roof.
     How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark
     Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by
 mail. They may purchase new stamps at authorized philatelic centers, by
 telephone at 800-STAMP-24, and at http://www.usps.com/shop. They should
 affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to
 themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:
     DISTINGUISHED AMERICAN DIPLOMATS
     COMMEMORATIVE SHEET
     POSTMASTER
     SPECIAL CANCELLATIONS
     PO BOX 92282
     WASHINGTON DC 20090-2282
 
     How to Order First-Day Covers
     Stamp Fulfillment Services also offers first-day covers for new stamp
 issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official
 first- day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog
 number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog. Customers
 may request a free catalog by calling 800-STAMP-24 or writing to:
     INFORMATION FULFILLMENT
     DEPT 6270
     US POSTAL SERVICE
     PO BOX 219014
     KANSAS CITY MO 64121-9014
 
     Philatelic Products
     There are six philatelic products available for this stamp issue.
      * 567862 - Full Pane FDC, $4.84
      * 567863 - FDC Set of 6, $4.62
      * 567865 - Digital Color Postmark Random Single, $1.50
      * 567868 - Digital Color Postmark Set of 6, $9.00
      * 567884 - Uncut Press Sheet, $35.10
      * 567899 - Digital Color Postmark Keepsake
     (First-day-of-issue program w/Digital Color Postmark, random sample),
     $11.34
     These products will be available while supplies last at postal stores,
 online at http://www.usps.com, and by telephone at 800-STAMP-24
 (800-782-6724).
     Since 1775, the Postal Service and its predecessor, the Post Office
 Department, has connected friends, families, neighbors and businesses by
 mail. It is an independent federal agency that visits 144 million homes and
 businesses every day, six days a week and is the only service provider
 delivering to every address in the nation. The Postal Service receives no
 taxpayer dollars for routine operations, but derives its operating revenues
 solely from the sale of postage, products and services. With annual
 revenues of more than $69 billion, it is the world's leading provider of
 mailing and delivery services, offering some of the most affordable postage
 rates in the world. The Postal Service delivers more than half of the
 world's mail volume - - some 212 billion letters, advertisements,
 periodicals and packages a year -- and serves seven and a half million
 customers each day at its 37,000 retail locations nationwide. Its website,
 usps.com, attracts more than 21 million visitors each month.
     Distinguished American Diplomats
     Hiram Bingham IV
     Hiram Bingham IV (1903-1988) served as a U.S. diplomat in France during
 World War II. He is remembered for saving the lives of thousands of
 refugees during the war through his principled opposition to U.S. policy.
     Born to a prominent Connecticut family, Bingham graduated from Yale in
 1925 and studied international law at Harvard. After he entered the Foreign
 Service in 1929, his postings included China, Poland and England.
     During the late 1930s, Bingham was named vice consul in Marseilles,
 France, where he was in charge of issuing visas. In 1940 and 1941, against
 the official policies of the United States, he issued visas and false
 passports to Jews and other refugees, assisting in their escape and
 sometimes sheltering them in his own home. He also worked with American
 journalist/hero Varian Fry to save refugees, and is credited with saving
 more than 2,000 people from the Nazis. He is also credited with saving such
 famous figures as artist Marc Chagall, Nobel-winning biochemist Otto
 Meyerhoff, and historian Hannah Arendt, before being transferred to
 Portugal and then to Argentina.
     Since the posthumous discovery of his humanitarian activities during
 the 1980s and 1990s, Bingham has been recognized by the United Nations, and
 in June 2002 he was honored by the American Foreign Service Association
 with a special award for "constructive dissent."
     Charles E. Bohlen
     A renowned expert on the Soviet Union, Charles E. Bohlen (1904-1974)
 helped to shape U.S. foreign policy during World War II and the Cold War.
 He was present at key negotiations with the Soviets during World War II, he
 served as ambassador to Moscow during the 1950s, and he was an adviser to
 every U.S. president between 1943 and 1968.
     Born in Clayton, New York, Bohlen traveled frequently to Europe with
 his family as a child. After graduating from Harvard University in 1927, he
 entered the Foreign Service in 1929 and selected Russian and Soviet affairs
 as his specialty. He joined the staff of the first U.S. embassy to the
 Soviet Union in 1934, and was serving as the Soviet expert at the U.S.
 embassy in Tokyo when the United States entered World War II.
     Bohlen witnessed history being made at many of the most important
 summit conferences of the war. He served as interpreter for President
 Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943 at the Teheran Conference, where Roosevelt,
 Stalin, and Churchill planned the final phase of the war against Nazi
 Germany, and again as both interpreter and adviser in 1945 at the Yalta
 Conference. Later, in 1945, he also served as interpreter at the Potsdam
 Conference, where Stalin, Churchill, and President Truman discussed the
 future of Europe and cooperation in the Pacific.
     As one of the architects of U.S. foreign policy after World War II,
 Bohlen helped to develop the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe. Remembered
 for his understanding of the role of ideology in Soviet policy, he was a
 key advisor to several Secretaries of State, and he served as ambassador to
 the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1957. He also served as ambassador to the
 Philippines from 1957 to 1959 and to France from 1962 to 1968. Prior to his
 retirement in 1969, he advised President Kennedy and President Johnson on
 U.S.-Soviet relations.
     Philip C. Habib
     A renowned career diplomat, Philip C. Habib (1920-1992) was an
 authority on Southeast Asia, a peace negotiator in the Middle East, and a
 special envoy to some of the world's most dangerous flash points.
     Born in Brooklyn, Habib studied forestry at the University of Idaho and
 earned a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley. In
 1949 he became a Foreign Service Officer and was subsequently posted to
 Canada, New Zealand and Trinidad.
     Beginning in 1965, Habib served as a political counselor in Saigon just
 as the Vietnam war was escalating, and he soon became an expert on the
 region, serving in Washington as Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian
 and Pacific Affairs and then serving for three-and-a-half years on the
 Vietnam peace talks in Paris. From 1971 to 1974 he served as ambassador to
 South Korea. From 1976 until 1978 he served as Under Secretary for
 Political Affairs. He also served as Diplomat in Residence at Stanford
 University.
     Habib retired for health reasons in 1980, but in 1981 he came out of
 retirement for a series of high-profile special assignments. He served as
 President Ronald Reagan's personal representative to the Middle East, where
 he spent two years engaged in high-profile shuttle diplomacy that helped
 reduce tensions in the region. He also served as a special envoy to the
 Philippines and Central America.
     In 1982 Habib was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the
 nation's highest civilian award.
     Robert D. Murphy
     Robert D. Murphy (1894-1978) held a series of prestigious and sensitive
 posts during a career that spanned nearly four decades. Regarded by
 colleagues as the consummate diplomat and a skilled troubleshooter, Murphy
 is especially remembered for his role in planning the Allied ground
 invasion of North Africa during World War II.
     Murphy joined the Foreign Service in 1921 and served in various
 positions throughout western Europe prior to World War II. Beginning in
 1941, as President Franklin D. Roosevelt's personal representative, he
 worked with the French to negotiate the terms of the Allied takeover of
 North Africa. During 1943 and 1944 he was political advisor to General
 Dwight D. Eisenhower. He attended the Potsdam Conference after the defeat
 of Germany in 1945, and he served as a political adviser in postwar Germany
 until 1949.
     After World War II, Murphy served as ambassador to Belgium and became
 the first postwar American ambassador to Japan. During the 1950s, he played
 a vital role as a negotiator. He served as advisor to the general in charge
 of cease-fire talks in Korea, and in 1954 he helped defuse tensions between
 Yugoslavia and Italy. In 1959, Murphy served as Under Secretary of State
 for Political Affairs.
     After his retirement from the Foreign Service in 1959, Murphy served on
 a number of intelligence and advisory committees. He was honored by the
 U.S. government with the Distinguished Service Medal and received honors
 from numerous foreign governments. He was also one of the first four
 diplomats to be named Career Ambassador.
     Clifton R. Wharton, Sr.
     During a distinguished career that spanned nearly four decades, Clifton
 R. Wharton, Sr. (1899-1990) was the first black Foreign Service Officer in
 the U.S. Department of State. While he was not the nation's first black
 ambassador, Wharton was the first black diplomat to become ambassador by
 rising through the ranks of the Foreign Service rather than by political
 appointment and the first black diplomat to lead a U.S. delegation to a
 European country.
     Wharton was born in Baltimore and raised in Boston, where he practiced
 law from 1920 until 1923. He then moved to Washington, DC, where he worked
 as an examiner at the Veterans Bureau and as a law clerk at the State
 Department. In 1925, after taking and passing the rigorous Foreign Service
 exam, he became the nation's first black Foreign Service Officer.
     After a series of postings that included Liberia, the Canary Islands,
 Spain and Madagascar, Wharton became consul general in Portugal in 1949. In
 1953 he became consul general in Marseilles, France.
     In 1958, with his appointment as U.S. minister to Romania by President
 Eisenhower, Wharton became the first black diplomat to head a U.S.
 delegation to a European country. In 1961, Wharton was appointed ambassador
 to Norway by President Kennedy; during his confirmation hearings he was
 praised as a "highly skillful, understanding and tactful diplomat."
     Frances E. Willis
     Frances E. Willis (1899-1983) was the first female Foreign Service
 Officer to rise through the ranks of the Foreign Service to become an
 ambassador, the first woman to make the Foreign Service a career, and the
 first American woman to be honored with the title of Career Ambassador.
     Willis earned a Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1923 and became an
 assistant professor of political science at Vassar College. She decided to
 change careers, and in 1927 she became the third woman to enter the Foreign
 Service because, as she told an interviewer in 1953, "I didn't want to just
 teach political science, I wanted to be a part of it."
     Willis enjoyed many "firsts" during her career as a diplomat, including
 serving as the first woman charge d'affaires, the first woman deputy chief
 of mission, the first U.S. ambassador to Switzerland, and the first woman
 to serve as ambassador at three of her posts. In 1962 she became the first
 woman to be designated Career Ambassador, a rare distinction held by only
 14 other people at the time.
     In 1953, Willis received a Woman of the Year award from the Los Angeles
 Times, and in 1955 she received the Eminent Achievement Award from the
 American Woman's Association. In November 1973, the American Foreign
 Service Association presented her with the Foreign Service Cup for her
 "outstanding contribution to the conduct of foreign relations of the United
 States."
 
 

SOURCE U.S. Postal Service
    WASHINGTON, May 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Six U.S. diplomats -- Hiram Bingham
 IV, Charles E. Bohlen, Philip C. Habib, Robert D. Murphy, Clifton R.
 Wharton, Sr., and Frances E. Willis -- were commemorated on U.S. postage
 stamps today for their contributions to international relations as
 negotiators, administrators, trailblazers, shapers of policy, peacemakers
 and humanitarians.
     The "Distinguished American Diplomats" commemorative postage stamps
 dedication ceremony took center stage during the Washington 2006 World
 Philatelic Exhibition at the Washington Convention Center in Washington,
 DC. The stamps are available in Washington, DC, today and nationwide May
 31.
     "All of these diplomats," said James C. Miller III, Chairman of the
 presidentially-appointed U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors, "served in
 different parts of the world, yet they shared a common passion for service
 -- a passion that sometimes put them in harm's way. They took risks to
 advance humanitarianism. They took risks to advance ideas. They took risks
 to advance peace. And for that all of us should be thankful," he said in
 dedicating the stamps.
     "It is because these accomplished diplomats took so much pride in their
 service to our nation they have inspired generations of diplomats -- each
 one dreaming of how he or she can, like them, make a difference. These six
 diplomats represent what it means to be an American."
     Joining Miller in dedicating the Distinguished Diplomats stamps were
 Congressman Rob Simmons, (R-CT); Hiram Bingham IV's son, Robert Kim
 Bingham; Charles E. Bohlen's daughter, Avis Bohlen; Philip C. Habib's
 daughter, Susan Michaels; Robert D. Murphy's daughter, Mildred Pond; Dr.
 Clifton R. Wharton's son, Clifton R. Wharton, Jr.; and, the great niece of
 Frances E. Willis, Sherene Gravatte. Also participating in the ceremony was
 Nicholas G. Carter, PhD., Chairman, Technology Committee, Washington 2006
 World Philatelic Exhibition.
     Hiram Bingham IV
     While serving as a diplomat in France during World War II, Hiram
 Bingham IV (1903-1988) defied U.S. policy by issuing visas that saved the
 lives of more than 2,000 Jews and other refugees. Since the discovery of
 his heroism, he has been posthumously honored for "constructive dissent"
 (see attached).
     Charles E. Bohlen
     A renowned expert on the Soviet Union, Charles E. Bohlen helped to
 shape foreign policy during World War II and the Cold War. He was present
 at key wartime meetings with the Soviets, he served as ambassador to Moscow
 during the 1950s and advised every U.S. president between 1943 and 1968.
     Philip C. Habib
     Philip C. Habib (1920-1992) was renowned for his diplomacy in some of
 the world's most dangerous flash points. An authority on Southeast Asia, a
 peace negotiator in the Middle East, and a special envoy to Central
 America, Habib was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1982.
     Robert D. Murphy
     A skilled troubleshooter, Robert D. Murphy (1894-1978) played a key
 role in facilitating the Allied ground invasion of North Africa during
 World War II. He served as the first postwar U.S. ambassador to Japan, and
 in 1956 he became one of the first diplomats to be named Career Ambassador.
     Clifton R. Wharton
     The distinguished career of Clifton R. Wharton, Sr. (1899-1990) spanned
 nearly four decades. In addition to becoming the first black Foreign
 Service Officer, Wharton was the first black diplomat to lead an American
 delegation to a European country and to become an ambassador by rising
 through the ranks, rather than by political appointment.
     Frances E. Willis
     Frances E. Willis (1899-1983) began her diplomatic career in 1927 and
 served with distinction, especially in Europe, until 1964. She was the
 first female Foreign Service Officer to rise through the ranks to become an
 ambassador and the first woman to be honored with the title of Career
 Ambassador (see attached for detailed information on each diplomat).
     During the Washington, DC, World Philatelic Exhibition,
 www.washington-2006, May 27-June 3, visitors can see $40 million worth of
 the world's rarest stamps, have stamp collections valued and witness
 multi-million dollar stamp auctions. Families can get a jump-start on stamp
 collecting by buying stamps from the only location on the planet selling
 stamps from 135 countries under one roof.
     How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark
     Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by
 mail. They may purchase new stamps at authorized philatelic centers, by
 telephone at 800-STAMP-24, and at http://www.usps.com/shop. They should
 affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to
 themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:
     DISTINGUISHED AMERICAN DIPLOMATS
     COMMEMORATIVE SHEET
     POSTMASTER
     SPECIAL CANCELLATIONS
     PO BOX 92282
     WASHINGTON DC 20090-2282
 
     How to Order First-Day Covers
     Stamp Fulfillment Services also offers first-day covers for new stamp
 issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official
 first- day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog
 number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog. Customers
 may request a free catalog by calling 800-STAMP-24 or writing to:
     INFORMATION FULFILLMENT
     DEPT 6270
     US POSTAL SERVICE
     PO BOX 219014
     KANSAS CITY MO 64121-9014
 
     Philatelic Products
     There are six philatelic products available for this stamp issue.
      * 567862 - Full Pane FDC, $4.84
      * 567863 - FDC Set of 6, $4.62
      * 567865 - Digital Color Postmark Random Single, $1.50
      * 567868 - Digital Color Postmark Set of 6, $9.00
      * 567884 - Uncut Press Sheet, $35.10
      * 567899 - Digital Color Postmark Keepsake
     (First-day-of-issue program w/Digital Color Postmark, random sample),
     $11.34
     These products will be available while supplies last at postal stores,
 online at http://www.usps.com, and by telephone at 800-STAMP-24
 (800-782-6724).
     Since 1775, the Postal Service and its predecessor, the Post Office
 Department, has connected friends, families, neighbors and businesses by
 mail. It is an independent federal agency that visits 144 million homes and
 businesses every day, six days a week and is the only service provider
 delivering to every address in the nation. The Postal Service receives no
 taxpayer dollars for routine operations, but derives its operating revenues
 solely from the sale of postage, products and services. With annual
 revenues of more than $69 billion, it is the world's leading provider of
 mailing and delivery services, offering some of the most affordable postage
 rates in the world. The Postal Service delivers more than half of the
 world's mail volume - - some 212 billion letters, advertisements,
 periodicals and packages a year -- and serves seven and a half million
 customers each day at its 37,000 retail locations nationwide. Its website,
 usps.com, attracts more than 21 million visitors each month.
     Distinguished American Diplomats
     Hiram Bingham IV
     Hiram Bingham IV (1903-1988) served as a U.S. diplomat in France during
 World War II. He is remembered for saving the lives of thousands of
 refugees during the war through his principled opposition to U.S. policy.
     Born to a prominent Connecticut family, Bingham graduated from Yale in
 1925 and studied international law at Harvard. After he entered the Foreign
 Service in 1929, his postings included China, Poland and England.
     During the late 1930s, Bingham was named vice consul in Marseilles,
 France, where he was in charge of issuing visas. In 1940 and 1941, against
 the official policies of the United States, he issued visas and false
 passports to Jews and other refugees, assisting in their escape and
 sometimes sheltering them in his own home. He also worked with American
 journalist/hero Varian Fry to save refugees, and is credited with saving
 more than 2,000 people from the Nazis. He is also credited with saving such
 famous figures as artist Marc Chagall, Nobel-winning biochemist Otto
 Meyerhoff, and historian Hannah Arendt, before being transferred to
 Portugal and then to Argentina.
     Since the posthumous discovery of his humanitarian activities during
 the 1980s and 1990s, Bingham has been recognized by the United Nations, and
 in June 2002 he was honored by the American Foreign Service Association
 with a special award for "constructive dissent."
     Charles E. Bohlen
     A renowned expert on the Soviet Union, Charles E. Bohlen (1904-1974)
 helped to shape U.S. foreign policy during World War II and the Cold War.
 He was present at key negotiations with the Soviets during World War II, he
 served as ambassador to Moscow during the 1950s, and he was an adviser to
 every U.S. president between 1943 and 1968.
     Born in Clayton, New York, Bohlen traveled frequently to Europe with
 his family as a child. After graduating from Harvard University in 1927, he
 entered the Foreign Service in 1929 and selected Russian and Soviet affairs
 as his specialty. He joined the staff of the first U.S. embassy to the
 Soviet Union in 1934, and was serving as the Soviet expert at the U.S.
 embassy in Tokyo when the United States entered World War II.
     Bohlen witnessed history being made at many of the most important
 summit conferences of the war. He served as interpreter for President
 Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943 at the Teheran Conference, where Roosevelt,
 Stalin, and Churchill planned the final phase of the war against Nazi
 Germany, and again as both interpreter and adviser in 1945 at the Yalta
 Conference. Later, in 1945, he also served as interpreter at the Potsdam
 Conference, where Stalin, Churchill, and President Truman discussed the
 future of Europe and cooperation in the Pacific.
     As one of the architects of U.S. foreign policy after World War II,
 Bohlen helped to develop the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe. Remembered
 for his understanding of the role of ideology in Soviet policy, he was a
 key advisor to several Secretaries of State, and he served as ambassador to
 the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1957. He also served as ambassador to the
 Philippines from 1957 to 1959 and to France from 1962 to 1968. Prior to his
 retirement in 1969, he advised President Kennedy and President Johnson on
 U.S.-Soviet relations.
     Philip C. Habib
     A renowned career diplomat, Philip C. Habib (1920-1992) was an
 authority on Southeast Asia, a peace negotiator in the Middle East, and a
 special envoy to some of the world's most dangerous flash points.
     Born in Brooklyn, Habib studied forestry at the University of Idaho and
 earned a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley. In
 1949 he became a Foreign Service Officer and was subsequently posted to
 Canada, New Zealand and Trinidad.
     Beginning in 1965, Habib served as a political counselor in Saigon just
 as the Vietnam war was escalating, and he soon became an expert on the
 region, serving in Washington as Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian
 and Pacific Affairs and then serving for three-and-a-half years on the
 Vietnam peace talks in Paris. From 1971 to 1974 he served as ambassador to
 South Korea. From 1976 until 1978 he served as Under Secretary for
 Political Affairs. He also served as Diplomat in Residence at Stanford
 University.
     Habib retired for health reasons in 1980, but in 1981 he came out of
 retirement for a series of high-profile special assignments. He served as
 President Ronald Reagan's personal representative to the Middle East, where
 he spent two years engaged in high-profile shuttle diplomacy that helped
 reduce tensions in the region. He also served as a special envoy to the
 Philippines and Central America.
     In 1982 Habib was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the
 nation's highest civilian award.
     Robert D. Murphy
     Robert D. Murphy (1894-1978) held a series of prestigious and sensitive
 posts during a career that spanned nearly four decades. Regarded by
 colleagues as the consummate diplomat and a skilled troubleshooter, Murphy
 is especially remembered for his role in planning the Allied ground
 invasion of North Africa during World War II.
     Murphy joined the Foreign Service in 1921 and served in various
 positions throughout western Europe prior to World War II. Beginning in
 1941, as President Franklin D. Roosevelt's personal representative, he
 worked with the French to negotiate the terms of the Allied takeover of
 North Africa. During 1943 and 1944 he was political advisor to General
 Dwight D. Eisenhower. He attended the Potsdam Conference after the defeat
 of Germany in 1945, and he served as a political adviser in postwar Germany
 until 1949.
     After World War II, Murphy served as ambassador to Belgium and became
 the first postwar American ambassador to Japan. During the 1950s, he played
 a vital role as a negotiator. He served as advisor to the general in charge
 of cease-fire talks in Korea, and in 1954 he helped defuse tensions between
 Yugoslavia and Italy. In 1959, Murphy served as Under Secretary of State
 for Political Affairs.
     After his retirement from the Foreign Service in 1959, Murphy served on
 a number of intelligence and advisory committees. He was honored by the
 U.S. government with the Distinguished Service Medal and received honors
 from numerous foreign governments. He was also one of the first four
 diplomats to be named Career Ambassador.
     Clifton R. Wharton, Sr.
     During a distinguished career that spanned nearly four decades, Clifton
 R. Wharton, Sr. (1899-1990) was the first black Foreign Service Officer in
 the U.S. Department of State. While he was not the nation's first black
 ambassador, Wharton was the first black diplomat to become ambassador by
 rising through the ranks of the Foreign Service rather than by political
 appointment and the first black diplomat to lead a U.S. delegation to a
 European country.
     Wharton was born in Baltimore and raised in Boston, where he practiced
 law from 1920 until 1923. He then moved to Washington, DC, where he worked
 as an examiner at the Veterans Bureau and as a law clerk at the State
 Department. In 1925, after taking and passing the rigorous Foreign Service
 exam, he became the nation's first black Foreign Service Officer.
     After a series of postings that included Liberia, the Canary Islands,
 Spain and Madagascar, Wharton became consul general in Portugal in 1949. In
 1953 he became consul general in Marseilles, France.
     In 1958, with his appointment as U.S. minister to Romania by President
 Eisenhower, Wharton became the first black diplomat to head a U.S.
 delegation to a European country. In 1961, Wharton was appointed ambassador
 to Norway by President Kennedy; during his confirmation hearings he was
 praised as a "highly skillful, understanding and tactful diplomat."
     Frances E. Willis
     Frances E. Willis (1899-1983) was the first female Foreign Service
 Officer to rise through the ranks of the Foreign Service to become an
 ambassador, the first woman to make the Foreign Service a career, and the
 first American woman to be honored with the title of Career Ambassador.
     Willis earned a Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1923 and became an
 assistant professor of political science at Vassar College. She decided to
 change careers, and in 1927 she became the third woman to enter the Foreign
 Service because, as she told an interviewer in 1953, "I didn't want to just
 teach political science, I wanted to be a part of it."
     Willis enjoyed many "firsts" during her career as a diplomat, including
 serving as the first woman charge d'affaires, the first woman deputy chief
 of mission, the first U.S. ambassador to Switzerland, and the first woman
 to serve as ambassador at three of her posts. In 1962 she became the first
 woman to be designated Career Ambassador, a rare distinction held by only
 14 other people at the time.
     In 1953, Willis received a Woman of the Year award from the Los Angeles
 Times, and in 1955 she received the Eminent Achievement Award from the
 American Woman's Association. In November 1973, the American Foreign
 Service Association presented her with the Foreign Service Cup for her
 "outstanding contribution to the conduct of foreign relations of the United
 States."
 
 SOURCE U.S. Postal Service