Selden Chapin – Lieutenant (jg), United States Navy Foreign Service Officer

From contemporary press reports: 

Selden Chapin was born at Erie, Pennsylvania, September 19, 1899. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1919. He married Mary Paul Noyes, March 30, 1927.

Chapin served in the United States Navy from 1919 to 1925.

He was appointed a Foreign Service Officer, March 1925. He then served as Vice Consul, Hankow, 1925. Secretary, Diplomatic Service, 1927. Third Secretary, Peking, 1927, Rome, 1929, Quito, 1932, San Salvador, 1934, Port-au-Prince, 1934. Department of State, 1936. Assistant chief, Division of American Republics, 1938. Consul, First Secretary, Montevideo, 1940. Department of State, 1941. Assistant Chief, Division of American Republics, 1942. U.S. Liaison Officer with the Inter-American Commission for Political Defense, Montevideo, 1942. Executive Secretary, Commission on Political Planning, Department of State, 1943. Counselor, American Diplomatic Mission and Executive Office, Civil Affairs Section, AFHQ, Algiers, 1943. Charge d'affairs, Algiers and Paris, 1944. Department of State, 1945. Director, Office of Foreign Service, Director General, November 13, 1946-April 7, 1947. EE and MP to Hungary, April 1947-49 (declared persona non grata by the Communist government of Hungary, recalled for consultation by Department of State, 1949). AE and P to the Netherlands, 1949, to Panama, 1953-55, to Iran, 1955-58. Deputy Commandant for Foreign Affairs, National War College, 1958-60. Ambassador, Lima, Peru, 1960.

Home: Running Point, Seal Harbor, Maine. He died March 26, 1963, and was buried in Section 8 of Arlington National Cemetery.

His wife, Mary Paul Noyes Chapin (1902-1984) is buried with him.

NOTE: His son-in-law, Ronald Irwin Metz, died in 2002 and is also buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


Ex-Envoy to Iran and Peru

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, March 27, 1963 – Selden Chapin, 64, former United States Ambassador to Iran and Peru, died last night following a heart attack.

Mr. Chapin was on the way from his home in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, to Lisbon, to meet his wife when he fell ill and was rushed to the hospital. Mrs. Chapin was returning from the Himalayan Kingdon of Sikkim, where she attended the wedding of their niece, the former Hope Cooke of New York, to Crown Prince Palden Thondup Namgyal.

August 17, 1984 – Mary Noyes Chapin, widow of Selden Chapin, a former United States Ambassador to Iran and Peru, died Monday at her home inWashington after suffering from a stroke last week. She was 82 years old.

Mrs. Chapin, the former Mary Paul Noyes, was born in New York, attended the Madeira School in Washingtonand Barnard College.  She and Mr. Chapinwere married in Peking in 1927, when he was American Vice Counsul at Hankow. Mr. Chapin died in 1963.

She is survived by a son, Frederick L. Chapin of North Brunswick, New Jersey; a daughter, Helen Chapin Metz of Washington and seven grandshildren.

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