Richard Thomas Kennedy – Colonel, United States Army United States Ambassdor At Large

From a contemporary press report

Richard T. Kennedy, 78, who coordinated U.S. nuclear nonproliferation efforts as ambassador at large during the Reagan and Bush administrations, died January 12, 1998 at Georgetown University Hospital of complications after heart bypass surgery. He lived in Washington.

Ambassador Kennedy had also served as U.S. representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency and as special adviser to the secretary of state on nonproliferation policy and nuclear energy. In 1981 and 1982, he was an undersecretary of state for finance. He was a commissioner of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission from 1975 to 1980. Earlier, he served 30 years in the Army, retiring in 1971 with the rank of colonel.

He was appointed ambassador at large for nuclear affairs in 1982, and he served in that capacity until shortly before President Clinton's inauguration in January 1993. During that period, he was said to have reinvigorated peaceful nuclear trading. He conducted nuclear cooperation treaty negotiations with China and negotiated nuclear agreements with Japan and EURATOM. He played a key role in blocking the acquisition by Iran of Argentinian equipment that would have enabled Iran to establish a nuclear program of its own.

He also led the negotiations with South Africa that preceded South Africa's giving up its nuclear weapons program; opened nonproliferation consultations with the Soviet Union in 1982 and maintained a nonproliferation dialogue with the U.S.S.R.; and led the U.S. response to the Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident in the Ukraine in 1986.

From 1969 to 1974, Ambassador Kennedy served on the National Security Council staff as director for staff planning and coordination and later as deputy assistant to the president for national security planning. He began this service as an Army officer and continued in a civilian capacity after his military retirement.

He was born in Rochester, New York, and graduated from the University of Rochester.

He began his military career during World War II, and he participated in combat operations in North Africa and Italy. After the war, he served with occupation forces in Germany, then returned to the United States. He attended Harvard Business School, the Army's Command and General Staff College and the National War College. He was a financial adviser in Iran and a specialist in African affairs before his posting at the White House as a security adviser.

His military decorations included a Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star and the Army Commendation Medal.

Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Jean Martin Kennedy of Washington; and two sisters, Margaret Krizanosky of Orlando and Mary Parisi of Rochester.

On Monday, January 12, 1998, THE HONORABLE RICHARD THOMAS KENNEDY, beloved husband of Jean Martin Kennedy; brother of Margaret Krizanosky and Mary Parisi. Friends may call at JOSEPH GAWLER'S SONS, INC., 5130 Wisconsin Avenue at Harrison Street N.W., on Thursday, January 22, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at Ft. Myer Chapel on Friday, January 23 at 12:45 p.m. Interment Arlington National Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Georgetown University Hospital, 3800 Reservoir Rd., NW, Washington, DC 20007 or St. Ann's Infant and Maternity Home, 4901 Eastern Ave., Hyattsville, MD 20782-3301.

Read our general and most popular articles

Leave a Comment