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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Condolences on the Death of Career Ambassador Terence A. Todman

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 17, 2014


We extend our deepest condolences to Mrs. Doris Todman and her family as they mourn the loss of their husband and father, Ambassador Terence A. Todman, who passed away on August 13.

In a distinguished, trailblazing, and celebrated career that spanned nearly 50 years, Terence was one of the very few Foreign Service Officers to attain the rank of Career Ambassador in the Department of State, and the first African American to do so. He further distinguished himself as Ambassador to Argentina, Denmark, Spain, Costa Rica, Guinea, and Chad and as Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs (now Western Hemisphere Affairs).

Terence was known for his outspokenness and his advocacy for equality during a time of segregation, when few minorities could be found at any level in the State Department. A living legacy of Ambassador Todman's advocacy and activism is today's State Department, which looks so much more like America.

We honor the memory of Terence A. Todman, whose loss will be felt around the world, and whose legacy will continue to inspire foreign affairs professionals.


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