Thursday, June 30, 2011

Robert S. Strauss: Ambassador to Russia

It was by way of the following article published in the New York Times on June 5, 1991 that I learned about Robert Strauss's background as an FBI agent.

After he graduated from the University of Texas Law School in 1941, Robert S. Strauss took a job as an F.B.I. agent "watching out for Communists," as he puts it.

"I would catch a spy nearly every other day," he jokingly recalled today about his F.B.I. postings in Washington, Ohio, Iowa and Texas. "I would come home at night and my wife, Helen, would say, 'Did you catch any spies today, dear?' "

Half a century later, after many cycles of conflict and entente in the United States-Soviet relationship, Mr. Strauss may soon be selling the charms of capitalism and the American way to the Russians. 'The Ultimate Capitalist'

President Bush passed over the Sovietologists in the Foreign Service and tapped his old friend from Texas, Bob Strauss, to be the new Ambassador to Moscow. The surprise appointment of Mr. Strauss, a Washington lawyer and Democratic Party mandarin who is fluent in Texas barbershop humor but not Russian, will have to be confirmed by the Senate.

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