Monday, 1 September 2008

William A. Wilson

William A. Wilson - Reagan's Ambassador to the Vatican; Member o/t Board of directors of Pennzoil Co.; Member o/t Board of directors and Member o/t Audit Committee o/t Earle M. Jorgensen Company

William A. Wilson was born in Los Angeles, California, on November 3, 1914. He was graduated from Stanford University with a degree in mechanical engineering, and is a registered mechanical and metallurgical engineer in the State of California. Mr. Wilson's varied career has included service in the U.S. Army as captain in the Ordnance Corps during the Second World War. After his father's retirement, Mr. Wilson assumed presidencey of the former's company, Web Wilson Oil Tools, Inc., until its sale in 1960.

Mr. Wilson is a long-time friend and supporter of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan. While governor, Mr. Reagan appointed him first to the Commission of Californias, an organization promoting relations between California and Baja California; and later to the Board of Regents of the University of California, of which he is also a member of the investment, finance and audit committees. Mr. Wilson's concern for education is also evident in his service as a member of the California Post Secondary Education Commission.

On February 11, 1981, President Reagan appointed Mr. Wilson as his personal representative to the Holy See. Even though, at the time, 85 other countries designated their representatives as ambassadors, full diplomatic relations at that level were not viable because of an 1867 U.S. law promulgating the doctrine of separation of Church and State by prohibition of the establishment of a U.S. legation to the Vatican. However, on January 10, 1984, legislation overturned the law, which had been passed at a time of considerable anti-papal sentiment in the U.S. Only since 1977 had there been any serious attempt to overturn it. Legislation to establish diplomatic relations with the Holy See was introduced by Representative Clement Zablocki (D-Wisconsin), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Repeal of the 1867 law meant formally recognizing Pope John Paul II as a major world statesman. On March 7, 1984, Mr. Wilson's appointment as first U.S. ambassador to the Vatican was confirmed in the U.S. Senate.

Ambassador Wilson retired from post in 1986. Since then, his interest in various enterprises has kept him well occupied. He is a member of the board of directors of the Pennzoil Company; a member of the board of directors and a member of the audit committee of the Earle M. Jorgensen Company, which has 18 steel plants around the nation; and is active in real estate development and cattle interests in the U.S. and Mexico. A devoted supporter of humanitarian organizations, Mr. Wilson's civic activities include serving as a member of the board of trustees of St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California.

What must be one of Ambassador Wilson's keenest interests, however, is amateur radio. His ham career began in the early thirties when his second cousin, Cal Smith, W6BRD, taught him the code. The latter was chief engineer of KFAC and later became president of that Los Angeles radio station. Young Bill Wilson found time to operate as W6GAD after high school and from his fraternity house at Stanford University. After the Second World War, he had to renew his license and passed the requisite exam to earn the call sign, K6ARO (Amateur Radio Operator). During his tenure in the Vatican City, the ambassador's many duties did not preclude the pursuit of his hobby. At his suggestion, the Knights of Columbus donated new equipment to the Vatican amateur radio station HV1CN that was officially blessed by Archbishop Paul C. Marcinkus, pro-president of the papal commission for the Vatican City, on July 10, 1985. At the ceremony, Ambassador Wilson himself sat down to transmit a general call, which immediately prompted responses from other radio stations. The original HV1CN first went on the air on October 8, 1957 using old army surplus equipment. In 1965, William Halligan, the founder of Hallicrafters, Inc., donated a complete station made by his firm. Of the three stations associated with the Vatican in 1985, only HV1CN transmitted from within its walls.

Over the years, Ambassador Wilson has received numerous awards in recognition of his work, including the Theodore Roosevelt Award from the Navy League of the U.S., 1981; the Brotherhood Award of the Association of Christians and Jews, 1983; and the Gold Medal of the Italian Red Cross.

Ambassador Wilson is married to Elizabeth (Johnson) Wilson, and has two daughters Anne Marie Wilson and Marcia Wilson Hobbs. The Wilson home base is in Los Angeles, California.
He [Frank Shakespeare] was ambassador to Portugal from 1985 to 1987, when William Wilson, also a Knight of Malta, as ambassador to the Vatican following Wilson's fall from favor.
Wilson, William A. SMOM • Ambassador to the Vatican (1981-86)
The first U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican was William Wilson, a Knight of Malta. His appointment was probably illegal and, for a fact, was highly unethical. Wilson could not possibly have represented the U.S. when his
allegiance was sworn to the Pope.

Behold a Pale Horse (p92), also see:

SMOM by mention:
Social Network Diagram:
Italy 1983-1986 Libya 1985

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pages cited this search: 30

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