Other Notable Deaths


July 31, 2008


Pioneering U.S. ambassador

Anne Armstrong, a powerful Republican in the 1970s and 1980s who advocated a greater role for women and served as U.S. ambassador to Britain in the Ford administration, died yesterday.

Ms. Armstrong had battled cancer and had been in a Houston hospice for about a week, said her assistant, Kay Hicks.

She and her husband, Tobin, were Republican stalwarts. She was a national leader of the Republican Party and Cabinet-level adviser to presidents Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford. Ms. Armstrong was also said to have made Mr. Ford's vice presidential "short list" in 1976 in his race against Jimmy Carter, according to news reports at the time.

Ms. Armstrong's name was again in the news in 2006 when Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and wounded a fellow hunter during an outing at the Armstrong family's ranch in South Texas.

In 1976, she became the first woman to serve as U.S. ambassador to Great Britain.

At her swearing-in, Mr. Ford quipped that his wife was "always needling me" to appoint women to such posts. Ms. Armstrong said, "I have the feeling Abigail Adams would have been just as excited as Betty Ford and I" about her selection.

More recently, Ms. Armstrong was an adviser on foreign intelligence to presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

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