Former Congressman and Richard Nixon campaign and administration official, Ambassador Robert Ellsworth passed away earlier this week. He was 84.

Ellsworth served as a Special Assistant to the President from 1969 to 1971, before RN appointed him as Ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He later served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs and Deputy Secretary of Defense in the Ford administration.

The Washington Post
Robert F. Ellsworth, former congressman and Nixon aide, dies at 84
Robert 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.

After stepping down from the diplomatic posting in 1971, Mr. Ellsworth was a general partner at the investment bank Lazard Freres in New York. He returned to government service in 1974 as assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs and, from 1975 to 1977, was deputy secretary of defense.

In subsequent years, he kept his hands in politics as personal adviser to Dole, a fellow Kansas Republican, during his unsuccessful presidential bids in 1988 and 1996.

Mr. Ellsworth, who had a reputation as a candid, independent-minded adviser, remained close with Nixon in his post-political life.

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