News Brief

Remembering Ambassador William McC. Blair, Jr.

We are saddened to announce the passing of Ambassador William McC. Blair, Jr., former US Ambassador to Denmark (1961-1964) and the Philippines (1964-1967). He passed away on August 29 at his home in Manhattan at the age of 98.


Ambassador Blair joined the Council of American Ambassadors shortly after the organization was established in 1983 and was a long-time Board member. In addition to serving as a Director, he held two offices: President of the Council from 1985 to 1989 and Vice Chairman from 1995 to 2009.


Ambassador Blair was the General Director of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts from 1968 to 1972 and was Of Counsel to the firm of Surrey & Morse from 1980 to1986. He practiced law with Adlai Stevenson in the 1950s, was a partner in the Chicago law firm of Stevenson, Rifkind and Wirtz and in the New York firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.


Ambassador Blair served as Vice-President of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, as a Trustee of the American-Scandinavian Foundation, and as an Honorary Director of the Juvenile Protective Association.


An Air Force officer in World War II, Ambassador Blair graduated from Stanford University and the University of Virginia Law School. He is survived by his wife, Catherine “Deeda” Blair.

Date Posted

Sep 3, 2015