Henry A. Byroade – Brigadier General, United States Army American Diplomat

From a contemporary news report

A career diplomat who was Assistant Secretary of State for Middle East, South Asia and Africa from 1952 to 1955 and Ambassador to Egypt in 1955 and 1956 and later to 5 other countries, died at Suburban Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland on December 31, 1993. He was 80 and lived in Potomac, Maryland. The cause was cardiopulmonary arrest, and complications from surgery for cancer in June, said his daughter, Linda B. Griffin.

He was Ambassador to South Africa from 1956 to 1959; Afghanistan from 1959 to 1962; Burma from 1963 to 1968; the Philippines from 1969 to 1973, and Pakistan beginning in 1973. He retired from the Foreign Service in 1977.

A 1937 graduate of West Point, , he began as a career Army officer, rising to the temporary rank of Brigadier General in 1946 when he was only 32. From 1949 to 1952, the Army lent him to the State Department, and he became chief of its office German affairs. In 1952, he resigned his Army commission and an became an Assistant Secretary of State while still in his 30’s. In that post, criticism from Israel and the Arab nations for a 1954 declaration in which he told the Israelis, “You should drop the attitude of a conqueror and the conviction that force is the only policy that your neighbors will understand,” and told the Arabs, “You should accept this state of Israel as an accomplished fact.” He had been Ambassador to Egypt for a more than a year when it was announced that he was being transferred. He was considered a friend of Arab causes but unable, during his Egyptian assignment, to prevent a arms deal between Czechoslovakia and Egypt or to influence the Egyptian govt, run by Gamal Abdel Nasser, in its expanding campaigns against the West and the US particular. Criticism of his effectiveness in Cairo was heard with growing frequency in the Eisenhower Administration in the last few months before it was made public, in 1956, that he was going to South Africa. In the last few months before it was made public, Dr. Emanuel Neumann, chairman of the executive of the Zionist Organization of American urged that he be removed from Cairo. He said he had been “long an apologist” for the Egyptian government.

His 1937 marriage to Mary K. Richard, ended in divorce in 1961. He was married to Jitka Donda Henson in 1962. In addition to his second wife and their daughter, survivors include 3 sons from his first marriage, 2 stepsons, 2grandchildren and 4 step-grandchildren.

July 24, 1913-December 31, 1993. Buried January 10, 1993 in Section 30 of Arlington National Cemetery.

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