Joe B. Vogel – Second Lieutenant, United States Army United States Information Agency Official

7 March 2007:

Joe B. Vogel, 88, a former college journalism professor and press attache for the U.S. Information Agency, died of congestive heart failure February 22, 2007, at Sibley Memorial Hospital, Washington, D.C.. A recent resident at Ingleside at Rock Creek in the District, he previously lived in Glen Echo, Maryland.

Dr. Vogel joined the USIA as a press attache in 1962 and served in Tehran until 1965, working extensively in support of community relations programs, including the shah's land reform program, on the part of the U.S. and Iranian governments. He also served as press attache in Istanbul from 1966 to 1969 during a period of sometimes tense U.S.-Turkish relations.

He moved to Washington in 1969 and was later assigned to Lagos, Nigeria, and Tel Aviv. He received USIA's Meritorious Service Award in 1971.

In 1979, Dr. Vogel was sent on special assignment to Israel for Middle East peace talks between President Jimmy Carter and Prime Minister Menachem Begin. In his final USIA assignment, he supervised the office that prepared daily and periodic summaries of foreign media reactions to U.S. policies for distribution to the White House and State, Defense and Treasury departments.

Dr. Vogel was born in Lockhart, Texas, and was a 1940 graduate of Southwest Texas State Teachers College. After college, he volunteered for the Army and served in the medical corps until 1943. He then enlisted in the Army Air Forces and was assigned as a navigator to the 8th Air Force with the rank of Second Lieutenant.

In January 1944, on a bombing mission against V-1 rocket sites on the French coast, his B-17 was hit by flak. He parachuted from the burning plane and was captured by the Germans. He was a prisoner of war in Stalag Luft 1 on the Baltic Sea until liberated by the Russians in May 1945. He was a first lieutenant when he left the military in December 1945.

He received a master's degree in journalism from the University of Texas in 1947, married that year and began teaching journalism at Southwest Texas State Teachers College. He taught there until 1957, taking a year off in 1954-55 on a Fulbright teaching grant to work in Assen, Netherlands. From 1957 to 1962, he taught journalism at the University of Florida.

In 1959, he received a Danforth Foundation grant and in 1960 received a PhD in mass communications from the University of Iowa. Dr. Vogel contributed a chapter on “International Search for Ethical Controls,” based on his dissertation, to International Communications, edited by Fischer and Merrill (1970).

After retiring from USIA, he taught journalism at the University of Texas School of Journalism in Austin from 1979 to 1986. He returned to the Washington area in 1986 and lived in Glen Echo until moving to Ingleside in 2006.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Vogel of the District; three sons, Brian Vogel of the District, Chris Vogel of Silver Spring and Michael Vogel of Columbia; a sister; and seven grandchildren.

Dr. Vogel was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery on 24 April 2007.

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