Friday, 29 August 2008

Charles Burke Elbrick

Charles Burke Elbrick - Career US Ambassador

(Proof Positive)
Hon. Charles Burke Elbrick, (b. Louisville, Kentucky, 25th March 1908, d. Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, D.C., 12th April 1983), was the son of Charles Elbrick and his Irish wife Lillian Burke.

Elbrick graduated with a leading Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College in 1929, and narrowly missed selection for a Rhodes Scholarship.

Having joined the United States Foreign Service in 1931, Elbrick was initially appointed Vice Consul in Panama. He continued on to Haiti and then acted as Third Secretary in Warsaw, Poland. In 1939 Elbrick had followed the Polish Government into exile. While leaving Warsaw in convoy, he was strafed by German planes. Elbrick returned to Poland in June 1945 to reopen the US Embassy. He was promoted to Assistant Secretary (to the Secretary of State) for European Affairs in 1957. Thereafter, Ambassador Elbrick was variously the representative of the United States to Portugal (1958), Yugoslavia (1964) and Brazil (1969).

In August 1968, when Soviet-led forces invaded Czechoslovakia, Elbrick, then Ambassador in Belgrade, was summoned by Marshal Tito to be asked what United States policy was toward Yugoslavia in such a moment.

The same as always, Elbrick said. To support Yugoslav independence and integrity. Do you need any help? Not now, said Tito, thanking Ambassador Elbrick for inquiring.

A year later, while stationed in Brazil, Charles Burke Elbrick was kidnapped for 78 hours by the Revolutionary Movement 8th October in Rio de Janeiro, on September 4, 1969. The incident formed the basis of the 1997 Bruno Barreto film Four Days in September (O Que É Isso, Companheiro?), starring Alan Arkin, Pedro Cardoso and Fisher Stevens. The storyline was adapted from the 1979 memoirs of Fernando Gabeira, former member of revolutionary cell MR-8 and latterly a journalist and congressman in Brazil's Green Party. After his release in exchange for 15 imprisoned leftists, Ambassador Elbrick coolly remarked, Being an ambassador is not always a bed of roses.

In 1969 he was honoured by the President of the United States with the rank of Career Ambassador, and following his retirement in 1973, Ambassador Elbrick was awarded the Foreign Service Cup.

Elbrick spoke Portuguese as well as Spanish, French and German, and was regarded as an expert on Iberia and Eastern Europe.


Ambassador Elbrick was knighted in the Sovereign Military and Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta ('Order of Malta') by the Prince and Grand Master, Fra' Angelo de Mojana di Cologna. He was knighted in the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre by the Grand Master, His Eminence Maximilian, Cardinal de Furstenberg. His funeral was held at St. Matthew's Cathedral, Washington DC.

His New York Times obituary on April 15th 1983 described Ambassador Elbrick as: ' a tall, slender man of suave demeanor in exquisitely tailored suits...[who]...showed dash and bravery in moments of crisis'.
C. Burke Elbrick

AKA Charles Burke Elbrick

Born: 25-Mar-1908
Birthplace: Louisville, KY
Died: 1983
Location of death: Washington, DC
Cause of death: unspecified

Occupation: Diplomat

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Career US Ambassador

University: BA, Williams College (1929)

US Ambassador to Brazil (1969-70)
US Ambassador to Yugoslavia (1964-69)
US Ambassador to Portugal (1959-63)
US State Department Assistant Secretary for European Affairs (1957-58)
US State Department General Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (1954-57)
US State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for European Affairs (1953-54)
US State Department Counsellor, Paris (1952-53)
US State Department Counsellor, London (1951-52)
US State Department Counsellor, Havana (1949-51)
US State Department Detailed to National War College (1948-49)
US State Department Assistant Chief, Division of Eastern European Affairs (1946-48)
US State Department First Secretary-Consul, Warsaw (1945)
US State Department Third Secretary-Vice Consul, Lisbon (1940-42)
US State Department Third Secretary, Warsaw (at Angers, France, 1939-40)
US State Department Third Secretary, Port-au-Prince, Haiti (1934-37)
US State Department Vice Consul, Southampton, England (1932-34)
US State Department Vice Consul, Panama (1931-32)
Kidnapped at Rio de Janiero (4-Sep-1969)
Knights of Malta
1k) HE Donna FRANCESCA di PAOLA MARIA ELISABETTA (Ravaschieri Fieschi Pinelli Pignatelli Granito) ‘Granito Pignatelli’ di Belmonte, Duchess of Acerenza and Grandee of Spain 1st Class (b. 27 Feb 1973); m. 1 July 2006 Tristan Charles Johnson Elbrick, son of Captain Alfred Johnson Elbrick, Knight of SMOM, himself son of Ambassador the Hon. Charles Burke Elbrick, Knight of SMOM, KHS (Knight of the Holy Sepulchre), and of Fern Evelyn Clare, daughter of Major David Vere Bendall CMG, MBE, First or Grenadier Guards, and of his wife, née Eve Stephanie Merrilees Forbes Fraser Galpin
Elbrick, C. Burke SMOM • Career U. S. Ambassador
• D. 1983
Social Network Diagram:
Portugal 1959-1963 Yugoslavia 1964-1969 Brazil 1969-1970

* Black,J.K. United States Penetration of Brazil. 1977 (32)
* Chomsky,N. Herman,E. The Washington Connection. 1979 (89-90)
* Colby,G. Dennett,C. Thy Will Be Done. 1995 (647)
* Langguth,A. Hidden Terrors. 1978 (19, 166-96)
* New York Times 2003-06-16 (A4)
* State Dept. United States Chiefs of Mission 1778-1973. 1973 (18, 128, 172)

pages cited this search: 40

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