Menu JTA Search

Walworth Barbour Dead at 74

Walworth Barbour, who was the U.S. Ambassador to Israel from 1961 to 1973, died July 21 at a hospital in Gloucester, Mass, at the age of 74. His tour in Israel was one of the longest of any American diplomat of his rank in a foreign post.

Barbour was held in high esteem by the Israelis. When he left Israel he was described by The Jerusalem Post as “a sagacious political intelligence who could continuously and precisely define for his own country and for his hosts the political aims of both, and more specifically the limits and tolerance of both.”

The American International School in Kfar Shmaryahu was renamed in Barbour’s honor in 1972 in recognition of his work on behalf of the institution. A youth center in south Tel Aviv was also named in his honor and his sister Ellen who acted as his hostess during his term of service in Israel.

During his years here, Israeli-American relations were marked by a number of military and economic agreements. Leaders in the government of Premier Golda Meir considered Barbour sensitive to the needs of the Jewish State and a good friend of Israel.

Barbour was a native of Cambridge, Mass., and a graduate of Harvard University. He joined the State Department in 1930. His diplomatic missions included Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, Iraq and Egypt. In the early 1950s he was counselor of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. President John Kennedy appointed him Ambassador to Israel in 1961. He retired from the Foreign Service after he left Israel in 1973.

NEXT STORY