Robert Ellsworth, former congressman and Amb. to NATO, dies at 84

Remembering Ellsworth

From Emma Brown, the Washington PostRobert F. Ellsworth, a Kansas Republican who served in Congress during the 1960s and then had a long career as a senior statesman in Washington, first in the Nixon and Ford administrations and later as one of Sen. Robert J. Dole’s closest advisers, died May 9 at a hospital in Encinitas, Calif. He was 84 and had complications from pneumonia and multiple organ failure.

 Mr. Ellsworth was a tall, courtly lawyer who had a private practice in his native Lawrence, Kan., before entering Congress in 1961. After three terms, the liberal Republican lost a Senate bid but became a top aide during Richard M. Nixon’s successful presidential campaign in 1968.

Mr. Ellsworth, whom Nixon described as “exceptionally able,” served as a White House special assistant tasked with troubleshooting foreign and domestic problems.

In that role, Mr. Ellsworth helped persuade Nixon to meet with western European leaders over their concerns that the United States was too preoccupied with Vietnam at the expense of the Soviet threat.

Nixon traveled to Europe almost immediately after his inauguration and, a few months later, appointed Mr. Ellsworth ambassador to NATO. . . .

Robert Fred Ellsworth was born June 11, 1926. He served in the Navy during World War II and again during the Korean War. He graduated from the University of Kansas in 1945 and received a law degree from the University of Michigan in 1949.  (photo: National Interest)

Robert Ellsworth was also a former member of the Board of Directors of the Atlantic Council

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