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Thomas Patrick Melady

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Melady Thomas Patrick U.S. Ambassador Thomas Patrick Melady, a noted scholar, diplomat, author, and Catholic intellectual whose strong faith guided a life of remarkable achievement, died Monday, January 6, 2014 at his home in Washington, D.C. Born in Norwich, Connecticut in 1927, he earned a B.A. from Duquesne University after serving his country in World War II. Later, he earned an MA and Ph.D. in international relations, government and economics from the Catholic University of America. An early pioneer in the field of African studies, he was President of the Africa Service Institute (1959-1967), which brought the leaders of newly emerging African sub-Saharan countries to the United States to establish closer ties. An advocate of quiet diplomacy, Melady was a trusted advisor to U.S. Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Burundi (1969), Uganda (1972), and the Holy See (1989). He used these opportunities to promote human rights, particularly racial and religious tolerance. During his tenure as U.S. Ambassador to Uganda, Melady was the only foreign diplomat to protest Idi Amin's vicious verbal attacks on the Jewish community. Later, he was instrumental in the Reagan Administration upgrading U.S. diplomatic relations with the Holy See to full ambassadorial status. And as Ambassador to the Holy See under President George H.W. Bush, Melady initiated the successful U.S. effort to gain Vatican recognition of the state of Israel. Ambassador Melady was also a distinguished academic, serving on the faculties of the George Washington University, as well as St John's University, Fordham University and Seton Hall University. He was Executive Vice President of St. Joseph's University and President and Professor Emeritus of Sacred Heart University. President Ronald Reagan appointed him Assistant Secretary of Postsecondary Education. Since 2002, Ambassador Melady served as Senior Diplomat in Residence at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C., and recently as interim Dean of the Seton Hall University School of Diplomacy. Ambassador Melady authored 17 books, including Profiles of African Leaders, Idi Amin Dada: Hitler in Africa, The Ambassador's Story and Ten African Heroes. He is the recipient of 30 honorary doctorates, and was decorated by the leaders of Senegal, Liberia, Cameroon, Madagascar and Croatia. He has been honored by the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education for his work strengthening historically black colleges and universities; by the National Conference of Christians and Jews and the D.C. Chapter of the American Jewish Committee for his contributions to inter-faith dialogue and religious tolerance; and by many catholic organizations, including the Franciscan Mission Service, the Catholic Distance University, and the Catholic University of America. He is also the recipient of the Order of Pius IX and the Order of St. Gregory the Great. He was a Knight of Malta, and a recipient of The Grand Cross of the Order of Malta. Ambassador Melady is survived by his wife of 52 years and frequent coauthor, Dr. Margaret Badum Melady, their daughters Christina Melady and Monica Melady Micklos, as well as seven grandchildren.

Published in Washington Times from Jan. 9 to Feb. 7, 2014
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